The appalling spectacle of anti-circ activists obsessing over the penis of another person’s son

Jelly penis candy

A visitor from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the most important part of the human body is the foreskin. It is, after all, the only part of the body that has multiple organizations devoted to its preservation in the natural state. The visitor might get the impression that the choice of circumcision is a fateful choice with profound implications for the rest of life. Therefore, it would probably come as a shock to our visitor to learn that circumcision is a religious, cosmetic and medical decision with essentially no impact beyond the benefit of reducing the risk of transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.

That’s why it would be extraordinarily difficult to find a logical explanation for the anti-circ community’s involvement in a vicious divorce case, beyond a cynical attempt to hold a child hostage in an effort to drum up publicity for themselves.

As Mark Joseph Stern explains in Circumcision Armageddon:

Heather Hironimus and Dennis Nebus are fixated on their son’s foreskin. It is an obsession that has bound them together long beyond the end of their relationship. Nebus believes their 4 1/2-year-old son, Chase Ryan Nebus-Hironimus, should be circumcised for medical reasons. Hironimus believes circumcision is barbaric genital mutilation. Nebus has gone to court to get his son circumcised. Hironimus has gone to jail to prevent it. Their dispute is easily the weirdest, saddest, most disturbing battle yet in the war over circumcision.

It is profoundly disturbing on a number of different levels. First, that a mother, any mother would deprive a child of a needed medical procedure, using her child in a battle to wound a hated ex-spouse. Second, it is disturbing that an activist group would insert themselves into a bitter divorce. Third, it is disturbing that an anti-circumcision organization would acknowledge that it doesn’t merely oppose circumcision for religious or cosmetic reason, but it actually opposed circumcision for medical reasons.

Why is this an issue, let alone an issue that has drawn in outsiders:

…As part of their separation, both Hironimus and Nebus signed a formal “parenting plan” approved by a judge. One portion of this plan specified that Nebus would take Chase to be circumcised and cover the costs. At the time, Hironimus agreed to this stipulation.

Nebus put off the circumcision until December of 2013—when he saw Chase, then 3, urinating on his leg. A pediatrician suggested Chase’s foreskin was too tight and should be removed. Later, a urologist questioned that diagnosis, but agreed that Chase would benefit generally from a circumcision. When Nebus informed Hironimus of the impending procedure, however, Hironimus balked. Since signing the parenting plan two years earlier, Hironimus had become an intactivist—an anti-circumcision activist who believes the removal of a child’s foreskin constitutes child abuse and a human rights violation.

And what about those outsiders?

How did a local parenting dispute become the stuff of tabloid headlines? The answer lies in the tenacious community of intactivists who seized upon Hironimus’ plight as both a crusade and a publicity stunt. A group that calls itself Chase’s Guardians has sponsored a legal fund for Hironimus … They have quietly spread anti-circumcision literature throughout local libraries and strange, graphic, scaremongering memes across the Internet…

I reached out to the person who runs the Chase’s Guardians Facebook page, hoping to interview him for this story. He promptly sent back a link to a retort to my 2013 article on intactivists and wrote: “Sorry about your semi-functional penis remnant Marky.”

In other words, the Chase’s Guardians couldn’t care less about Chase and his medical issues. They are committed to what they believe to be the inherent sanctity of the intact penis no matter who is hurt in the process even if it is the owner of the foreskin in question. And therefore, they inserted themselves into a vicious parenting dispute, a dispute that cannot benefit Chase in any way.

The real issue here is two parents who despise each other using the body of their son to fight their battles. According to an AP story on the CBS News website:

Hironimus and her 4-year-old-son’s father, Dennis Nebus, have been warring for years over whether to have the boy’s foreskin removed. She initially agreed in a parenting agreement filed in court, then changed her mind, giving way to a long legal fight. Circuit and appellate judges have sided with the father.

With her legal options dwindling, Hironimus went missing in February, and ignored a judge’s order that she appear in court and give her consent for the surgery to be performed. A warrant was issued, but she wasn’t located until May 14 at a Broward County shelter where she was staying with her son.

Brought before Judge Jeffrey Gillen on Friday, Hironimus again declined to sign a consent form for the surgery, and she was advised she would remain jailed indefinitely. After the hearing recessed and she reconsidered, she reluctantly agreed to sign, sobbing as she put pen to paper.

That, of course, is not the end of it:

The woman’s mother, Mary Hironimus, said “intactivists” – anti-circumcision activists – planned to reach out to doctors around the country to urge them not to perform the circumcision.

Georganne Chapin, executive director of Intact America, which advocates against circumcision, said the images of a distraught Heather Hironimus signing the form to allow the surgery show how she was “bullied” into it and that she doesn’t truly give her consent.

“If anyone finds out the circumstances under which she signed, a doctor would be insane to carry out that surgery,” she said.

But the issue here is not, and has never been, parental consent. The issue is whether a circumcision has medical benefits for this specific child, benefits that outweigh the risk of performing the surgery on a child, risks that are greater than when he was a newborn. And that question can only be answered by medical professionals, not by a band of self-appointed foreskin fetishists whose cynicism is exceeded only by their self-absorption.

  • Charlie

    It was a touch humiliating, yet gratifying in some wondrous way when I learned one of the ladies in the large church I once attended, was the doctor who circumcised me as a baby. After mulling it over for several weeks, I sought her out and thanked her for doing it. She grinned and said she wished the other 2,300 plus males she circumcised would also thank her. In a mystical/religious sense, the male’s foreskin is THE “symbol of sin” in the human body. Therefore it must be cut off. Medically, there are many compelling arguments supporting it. The doctor described to me the consequences of living in a society in which males are not circumcised.

    • AnnaPDE

      What are those?
      I mean, that’s where I’ve lived for the last 37 years, with lots of uncircumcised males in my family, and they don’t seem to have suffered any ill effects…

    • TLCTugger

      The bible says in over a dozen places that physical circumcision is NOT part of Christianity. Informed adults can decide for themselves what will constitute the symbol of sin in their own lives.

      Thou shall not steal. Could there be a greater sin that amputating someones exquisite pleasure-receptive body parts without permission?

  • Johanna

    Perhaps you should have researched this case further before making this ridiculous post. This father fought for years, since right after a paternity suite in 2012, to have the boy circumcised because he felt it was “the normal thing to do”. This was not a “necessary” procedure, but a cosmetic one, prefomed on a four year old boy who will likely remember it as traumatic. Not nearly as traumatic as having his mother jailed and nearly removed from his life, though. You’re a jackass and a quack.

  • Jhon Murdock

    One has to wonder why ex medical license holder, Amy Tuteur, would feature such a misandryst, unscientific and anatomically ignorant comment by Comrade X.
    The good ex medical license holder would know that the external, visible part of the clitoris is but the tip of the iceberg. The huge bulk of this organ is internal and concealed. Women with the tip removed are just as interested in sex and have orgasms with the same frequency as intact women. This misandryst comparison is medically anachronistic and unscientific.
    Genital mutilation is not a contest about who experiences more pain. It is an inherently evil practice that needs be ended for children of both sexes.

  • “It is, after all, the only part of the body that has multiple organizations devoted to its preservation in the natural state.”

    This is because it is the only normal, living, healthy, permanently-attached part of the body that is routinely cut off of children in the United States at birth. The human body has many non-life-essential structures such as ears, fingernails and toes and folds of skin on the genitalia such as male foreskins and female clitoral hoods and labia minora. It would be possible to take any one of these body parts and link it to any plethora of possible health hazards such as infections, cancer scares, etc. These possibilities could be easily wrapped up in medical jargon creating a seemingly valid argument for routine amputation during infancy as supposed ‘preventative medicine.’ We could then continue on an endless spiral of ‘pros and cons,’ defenses of the practice, and protests.

    The fact that we readily dismiss such proposals as “routine earlobe amputation” or “labia amputation” for infants/children as ludicrous if not horrific proves that there exists some disconnect in our reasoning, a “mystical irrationality” clouding our minds, when the same thinking is applied to foreskins and routine circumcision.

    The medical profession is supposed to be based on scientific reasoning and logic, in addition to care and empathy for human rights and freedom. Therefore, the medical profession is challenged to view circumcision in the same way as it views routine earlobe amputation or labia amputation: in terms of logic and rationality and respect for the rights of all human beings of every age and for the human body in its naturally-occurring state.

  • itry2brational
  • yugaya

    Wow these parachuters are …scary crowd.

  • Jhon Murdock

    @Comrade X “The day millions of little boys have their ENTIRE GLANS PENIS removed with rusty utensils without anaesthetic will be the day we start to take that pathetic pseudo-argument seriously….”
    The external, visible part of the clitoris is but the tip of the iceberg. The huge bulk of this organ is internal and concealed. Your misandryst comparison is anatomically anachronistic and unscientific. Genital mutilation is not a contest about who experiences more pain. It is an inherently evil practice that needs be ended for children of both sexes.

  • Alison Mercer

    ummm cutting off your kids tip is stupid and simply for religious and fashion reasons. ohhh this one is real awesome. the orthodox jews who suck the babies penis after and some babies die cause ofv infection. this dr should get that. . real logical , real sound that is hey, for idiotic religious bullocks some old mancutting off babies tip and then sucking on it. you think that is necessary dr? . and yeah u can see the brainwashed snobs speaking up , real racist asses commenting. anyway , it is not normal procedure here in Canada anymore because there are no medical benefits. so if people want it they can pay for it in some provinces. honestly ,unless there are medical reasons it is pointless so yeAH, id say leave the childs penis alone.

    • Gozi

      Please take a rest from the internet and take your meds.

    • yachty

      I am with Gozi….go take your ZaniBar!

    • yachty

      The sucking is through a straw and only ULTRA Orthodox do that BS! You are a Fcuking Canadian….says everything! No wonder you are so fcuked up!

      • Nick Sanders

        Troll harder.

        • yachty

          Ok Queer boy….

      • Who?

        Mealy mouthed. Pathetic

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Uh huh.

  • yachty

    ANTI”S are all fucked up idiots! A waste of the earths resources!

  • cosmopolite

    People, please appreciate that Ms Hironimus is very grateful for the attention her ordeal has received from the intactivist movement. Ms Tuteur implies that this attention should be unwanted.

    • Nick Sanders

      No, Dr. Tuteur explicitly states that Hironimus deliberately turned her son into a media circus and should be ashamed of herself.

      • cosmopolite

        No the boy’s father and the judge should be ashamed of themselves for bullying the boy and his mother, and for hanging a Sword of Damocles over the mother. The idea that a judge would threaten to keep a mother in jail indefinitely for contempt of court, and would thus be unable to see her son in any way, unless she signed a document, is utterly revolting to me as a supporter of personal freedom, and as a person suspicious of the way that nation-states have inched towards tyranny since WWI broke out.

        The MSM is not guilty of anything here. The hoopla that elicits Tuteur’s disdain is entirely a social media thing, and one that the mother warmly desired. When one is in a battle, one values all the allies one can get. Social media is the form that vox populae takes in our time.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Both parents are asshats and the judge should have appointed the kid an advocate to act in his best interest. His parents were busy using their son’s body as a fodder trying to screw the other one over.

          There are no winners here, especially not Chase.

          • cosmopolite

            A guardian ad litem should most definitely have been appointed. The Supreme Court of Florida may agree one day.

        • Nick Sanders

          Yes, the mother desired the attention, no one has contested that. That’s half the fucking point of the outrage, so why do you keep acting like we didn’t realize it. She turned her son’s penis into her own publicity. That’s fucking disgusting, and there is no way the kid, the one whose opinion one the subject should matter, wanted a ton of strangers arguing about his damn dick. Why is this so hard to get through your damn head?

          • cosmopolite

            The mother did NOT desire the attention for herself and her son. She wanted both to be left alone. There is much going on here that you do not know about or fail to appreciate. Your third sentence is an opinion that is as mistaken as it is ugly. The kid has made it clear that he wants his penis left alone. The father and the judge don’t care about the kid’s opinion. That is oppressive and cruel. Why is that so hard to get through your damn head?

          • Nick Sanders

            “The mother did NOT desire the attention for herself and her son. She wanted both to be left alone.”
            That blatantly contradicts your earlier claim that the attention was “warmly desired”.

            Further, when I spoke of the boy’s opinion, I meant his opinion on the attention, not the medical procedure. He’s a kid; not known for their sound medical decisions.

            Lastly, you make claim after claim, but never actually substantiate any of them.

          • cosmopolite

            I want the boy’s penis left alone; so does the mother. That does not require “substantiation”, only common sense and common decency.
            The mother would prefer that her wishes (and the boy’s) be respected. Failing that, she accepts that the matter be brought to the attention of the MSM, in order to improve the chances that her son be left alone. She does not value the media attention for its own sake.
            The father is no medical authority either.

          • Nick Sanders

            I want the boy’s penis left alone; so does the mother. That does not require “substantiation”,

            No, but things like “phimosis does not exist in children”, and “the only doctor to testify at the trial said he didn’t need the procedure” definitely do.

          • Jhon Murdock

            You have no understanding of the difference between natural phimosis and pathological phimosis. Do your homework you lazy, mouthy ass.
            Nor have you followed the trial in the slightest or you would know that “the only doctor to testify at the trial said he didn’t need the procedure” is a true statement.

            Moron.

          • cosmopolite

            Why is it so hard to get through your head that it is wrong for a father to obsess in this fashion with how his son’s penis looks and functions. That it is wrong for a Judge to threaten a mother with indefinite jail for contempt of court, until she signs a piece of paper authorising her son’s circumcision? In other words, she was to have no custody of her 4 year old son until she does what the judge wants her to do. That was badly tyrannical. I am confident that state Supreme Courts will agree one day that what Judge Gillen did was ultra vires.
            The mother welcomed having the MSM report on this outrageous situation.

          • Nick Sanders

            Because the son had at least one doctor suggest that maybe, just maybe, he knows more about the foreskin of his patient than random internet commentators like you.

            Also because you keep bringing up the mainstream media, which is really odd, since you seem to be the only one doing so.

      • cosmopolite

        Shame on Dr Tuteur for being unable to rise above her Jewish ancestry and think clearly about this case.
        Dr Tuteur does not know the facts of this case and hence is not qualified to emit the ugly opinion you claim she holds. You, I and Tuteur do not know if Hironimus ever spoke to a reporter. And when one feels oneself to be a victim of an injustice, one has the right to invoke the court of public opinion in order to redress the grievance. Just because the claimed injustice involves the human genitalia does not mean that it should not be spoken about in polite company.

        • Fallow

          “Shame on Dr Tuteur for being unable to rise above her Jewish ancestry and think clearly about this case.”

          You must lack even a vestige of self-awareness, or maybe you’d realize why this is a hell of a weird, sketchy, inappropriate thing to say.

          • Who?

            I’d add unhelpful, shallow and dog-whistling.

            C would also benefit from a thesaurus, since ‘ugly’, with all its connotations, is wearing a little thin.

            Can an opinion be hostile? I can see it might be expressed in a hostile way, or express a position hostile to the listener’s. Both of which might be true of Dr T’s opinions here, but neither of which make that opinion itself wrong or inappropriate.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Some people lately would consider expressing an opinion an act of terror. *eye roll*

            And wow…

            Do I tell a Black person descended from slaves to just “rise above” their Black ancestry? To stop crying as their family members get shot for no reason other than they exist?

            Maybe I should tell the Chinese to “rise above” their history with Japan taking an pillaging their people and land as recently as WWII that the Japanese tend to -still- gloss over?

            Oh, I guess I should “rise above” my Mormon heritage and just forget that my ancestors were chased out of several states before having to settle in a desert to avoid getting killed and their property stolen. And then have people still tell me to my face that I’m going to Hell and that I’m part of an evil cult and I should die as I’m bringing dinner to a congregation member.

            Man, it’s almost like historical context is important or something!

          • Who?

            Indeed. Australia is soon to become a place where a person is deemed to be a terrorist and to have renounced their citizenship for simply travelling to (which will likely end up being planning to travel to) certain places the government thinks are occupied by terrorists.

            Oh yes the victim or underdog is always called on to rise above, often by people who put very little effort into investigating their own behaviours and motives. Perhaps because they come from the assumption that everything they do is ‘normal’ and therefore ‘right’.

          • yachty

            Mormonism is a really FU religion! Do you wear your special underwear? Are you a good Mormon so you insure you receive your planet and become a God?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yawn. Like I haven’t heard that one before.

            Here, let me help you.

            See now I can’t talk about the magic underwear or it ceases to have its power. Then I can’t mind control people into joining my cult and I don’t get to be Relief Society president!

            And I suppose you’re jealous that you’ll only ever receive a yacht club from your daddy but my space daddy will give me a planet if I get enough Mormon brownie points.

            Speaking of brownies my twenty five sister wives and I are baking a bazillion brownies and jello salads for the holiday tomorrow. Whoever makes the best ones gets to sleep with my husband first and have the eleventy billionth child. That’s the lucky one! But only girls, we kick those nasty boys out.

            Always make sure to choose the Sprite! Caffeine and alcohol, even one drop, turns you into a heathen that beats children, runs over neighbors’ dogs, and talks bad about women’s rights!

            Guess I should go dust my shrine to Joseph Smith now. If I don’t I might have to go to the temple and go dunk a corpse in the baptismal fountain. I’ll make sure it’s a Holocaust victim just for you.

            Go get some trolling lessons. Your technique is lacking.

          • yachty

            You are the FU Mormon! Freaks to say the least!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yup. I’m most definitely the freak here. *eye roll*

          • VeritasLiberat

            Delphinium Falcon, that was awesome. Plus now I know how to avoud being called as the Relief Society president.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Why thank you! I think it goes right over his head though lol. Probably thinks all that was true!

          • yachty

            Considering my father has Alzheimer’s and I am his guardian. I do not think he will be buying me anything! I pay money for him! So get over your Mormon BS!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Apparently whatever fancy school you went to didn’t cover the literary devices called facitiousness and sarcasm.

          • cosmopolite

            There is nothing morally wrong or inappropriate with what I wrote.
            Weird is but an ugly opinion. Sketchy — so what?

          • yachty

            Cosmo is from some 3rd world country! I wish they would ban other nationalities from posting!

          • yugaya

            I tried, but it is actually completely impossible to roll eyes as hard as I have the urge to roll them now reading this comment of yours.

        • Nick Sanders

          Why are you replying to the same comment twice? You clearly have nothing new or worthwhile to add.

          • cosmopolite

            Connectivity issues on my end. I live in a country where the quality of broadband is erratic.

          • yugaya

            Living in distant places doth not a cosmopolite make.

          • cosmopolite

            Is living all of one’s life within the continental USA, and never taking a vacation out of that world, given one a perspective better than mine?

          • demodocus

            Glad you could afford to travel internationally. My vacations have all been inside book covers.
            BTW, I think Yugaya is from Eastern Europe.
            (ed because discus was arguing with me)

          • cosmopolite

            I left the USA two decades ago. Because of advancing age and health issues, it has been 5 years since I left the country I live in. I no longer take vacations in any meaningful sense. My “vacations” are between book covers, as you say, and on Google Street.

          • yachty

            How old are you that you have never left the USA?

          • demodocus

            How poor was I as a child and young adult? The military and the peace corps won’t take me ’cause I’m a deaf, flat-footed, and wall-eyed.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Well you see some of us don’t have mommy and daddy pay for extravagant vacations out of the country. It’s hard enough to pay for dance and piano lessons or even the basics of putting food on the table for the average family these days.

            Some of us also work for a living instead of being handed financial security on a silver platter. We can’t take off whenever we please.

          • yachty

            Sorry, before I was out of high school I had been to Europe, Mexico, NZ, Australlia, Tahiti, Canada, Israel and South Africa…..

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            And point demonstrated. Unless they’re a military family most people won’t see all of that before graduating high school. You don’t even understand that something like that is so ridiculously far out of the average American’s budget. It’s almost sad how out of touch with the general population you are.

          • yachty

            Europe was to visit family, Mexico I live in SoCal, NZ and Australia was for vacation when I was 15, Tahiti was Vacation when I was 13, Canada was to visit my Aunt, Israel for my Bar Mitzvah and South Africa was to visit my Uncle and his family. Really not a big deal, people travel……My 7yo has been to Bali, NZ, Auz, Europe, Mexico and Fiji……

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeah and that still doesn’t make it normal. Most people I know can barely afford to take time off and have enough money to visit relatives a few states over.

            You’ve led a priveledge life most of us will never know. Good for you. But realize most people won’t even be able to afford one trip out of their home country never mind eight counties and then some. And that certainly doesn’t make you better than those who can’t.

          • yachty

            I work……

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Did Mommy and Daddy get that job for you too?

          • yachty

            No….I have two companies. Sorry to disappoint………….Both are yacht related.

          • yachty

            Extravagant? Really? What kind of life do you lead? Sorry, but when I was a teen I received $1500 a month in allowance…..I schedule my time off and generally work until 9 or 10 into the night! You have no clue what it takes to keep it up. I don’t work 9-5, no one that owns a company works normal hours! We work when needed. I even work on vacations! Get your lazy ass off the sofa if you want more…….

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            $1500 a month in allowance? So $18000 a year? That’s as much as some adults make at their jobs in one year and it was just handed to you. You realize that is NOT the norm right?

            I work. I worked as a teen. I didn’t get an allowance. I didn’t know anyone who had an allowance as a teen. We had the occasional gas money that we had to ask our parents for or in my case, and we were one of the better off families in the area, my parents gave me what I needed because I also drove my sister around and did errands for my parents and generally wasn’t stupid.

            If I had a $1500 allowance a month as a teen I definitely wouldn’t have had to drop out of college to work because I couldn’t afford tuition. My story isn’t exactly unique either.

          • yachty

            Ok…it is super simple. My base allowance was $500, my parents went to Vegas every other week and I received $500 each weekend they left. The rules were simple, if my friends drank or smoked pot they would stay and no one was allowed in my parents room. My Dad’s bar sat 10 and had two beer taps. That started at 14…we would empty the pool and skateboard, parents were never pissed…..They also bought me a 968 Porsche for my 16th bday…all my friends had Mercedes, Porsche’s and Audi’s….not a big deal…….Occasional gas money? I had my Credit Card…..We went to lunch in High School and it was not McDonalds!

          • yachty

            I forgot….at 19 I took some time off from school and sailed in the Carribbean for 7 months…..had a blast.

          • cosmopolite

            Does living within the continental USA guarantee that one has knowledge and the wisdom to make use of that knowledge?

        • yugaya

          “being unable to rise above her ancestry”

          How low can you go?

          • cosmopolite

            Why is pointing out that someone’s thinking is limited by their family history and traditions “low”?

          • cosmopolite

            Who have I hit below the belt, and how?

    • yachty

      Illegal Mexicans are hardly Americans! White parents (according to the CDC) circumcise at a rate of 80%. Mexicans will never be part of my 3 son’s peer groups!

      • cosmopolite

        The true rate of circumcision in the USA is unknown, because no one counts circs performed in doctors’ offices. Hence the CDC cannot know what you claim it knows.
        Where did I mention Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry?
        Your remarks are consistent with my belief that American attitudes about how the tip of the penis should look and function, are strongly influenced by snobbishness.

        • yachty

          I have said the rates are higher, my neighbor is a ob/gyn and does them all in office. We are in SoCal and we don’t know anyone that doesn’t circumcise. We are somewhat snobby!

      • Gozi

        If your sons are taught your attitude, then any play group you decide to exclude them from will be better off.

        • yachty

          We live on the beach….there are no minorities here. No need in to worry about their play dates!

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exhibit B in Why Extreme Views Are Bad. Anything taken to an extreme, in this case anti or pro circ, both approach the absolute zenith of ridiculous posturing.

        There’s something to be said for everything in moderation.

        • yugaya

          Extremism is when I can’t tell the difference between people with opposing views because they make me equally sick regardless of whose opinion I am in favour of.

    • yachty

      The kid was circumcised…get over it! Stay in your 3rd world country with you crappy broadband!

      • cosmopolite

        I live in the First World. If I lived in the Third World, that fact would deserve your sympathy, not your triumphalist smugness.
        Circumcised or not, we are gong to hear more about the case of Chase Hironimus. He could grow up to become for intactivism what Gianna Jessen is to the pro-life cause.

        • yachty

          I doubt it! My 7yo knows that only the poor and minorities are not circumcised! He knows only trash isn’t circumcised!

          • cosmopolite

            A 7 year old child cannot possibly know what you claim your child knows. What you claim would be fact only if there were a study based on a clinical examination of a careful random sample of males of some age, much less of all ages. To include minors in such a study would probably give rise to moral condemnation. We cannot truly know what American demographics, now 7 years old, are and are not circumcised, until those boys are in their 20s.
            A blog post by a 60 year old day care worker in Las Vegas, and a magazine article based in part on discussions with high school boys in Santa Barbara, both contradict what you claim. Routine infant circumcision ceased being the norm in coastal California and in Nevada, some years ago.

          • yachty

            You are full of BS! White parents still circumcise in CA! The Wetbacks do not! Wetbacks make up 4 of 6 births in CA and only 1 in 6 are white! A great argument to split CA into 6 states! In SoCal I can guarantee that WHITE parents still circumcise. My best friend just took his 5 yo in to have him recircumcised because he thought it was to loose! So you have no fcuking clue what you are talking about! CA has a rate of 36%, but that doesn’t count for the circ’s done at home or in the office! My boys were all circumcised in my house….Jewish!

          • yachty

            my boys were circumcised at 8 days old……What guy gets circumcised in their 20’s? You are really FU! In the USA boys get cut at 2-10 days old!

          • cosmopolite

            What you take as an immutable given, is precisely that which we propose to change. How my penis looks and functions was not decided by my parents, but by me. I want all American men to enjoy the same consideration.

          • yachty

            Amazing how many uncircumcised men are anti…..You as re the odd man out. Go get circumcised, perhaps you will feel like part of normal society.

          • cosmopolite

            I live in a nation that gave up routine circumcision a generation ago, with no complaints so far.
            Most intact men live in intact societies and so take for granted the body parts circumcision removes.
            Trust me, there are American men who detest the fact that they are circumcised.
            Growing up intact in a circumcised culture led me to ask questions about why the most sexual part of my body looked quite different, and how this difference mattered for sex. The answers to the latter question began trickling out around 1990, and are now a flood, thanks to social media. I am surprised at the number of American women who reveal in social media that they prefer sex with intact men.
            I now understand that my body is normal, and that the conventional American attitudes about male anatomy and human sexuality, are sadly flawed.

          • cosmopolite

            The fact that few men get circumcised in their 20s should tell you something about how men with natural penises think.
            What is FU is the American disdain for the foreskin.
            That the typical American goyishe boy is cut shortly after birth, is a practice that I resist with all my strength.

          • yachty

            Santa Barbara has a large wetback population.

          • itry2brational

            ^^Cutter teaching their kid racism. Classy.

          • yachty

            I am not a racist…..I choose not to live with people below me.

          • yachty

            Really? Most people I know are well off and racist!

  • itry2brational

    American circ apologists recommend doing it in the newborn to 1year period. Why the special exception for this 4!yo boy? Certainly neither the mother or father agreed to circumcise a 4yo but the duty to get it done was the father’s, so he broke his end of the agreement by not getting it done in an advisable timeframe.
    The appalling spectacle is watching “consent” be destroyed…by our own “justice” system…all to cut a boy unnecessarily. Without medical indication. Where threat of imprisonment for not agreeing to cut your own 4yo boy’s penis is used as a tool to enforce an “agreement”. Where people are literally and physically made to “agree” with/to circumcision by use of *force*.

  • ml66uk

    1. The parents were never married.

    2. The foreskin is the only healthy normal living tissue that is commonly cut off. If people were cutting earlobes off children, there would be organizations against that too.

    3. This isn’t a needed medical procedure. The pediatrician called by the fataher’s legal team said that, and also said he wouldn’t circumcise the child if it was his son. That means it’s the father using the child ot hurt the mother.

    4. “essentially no impact beyond the benefit of reducing the risk of transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS”
    Almost no-one in Europe circumcises unless they’re Jewish or Muslim, yet Europeans have lower rate of all the bad stuff including HIV. There are also several several peer-reviewed papers showing downsides to male circumcision:
    Sorrells (2007)
    “Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.”

    Kim and Pang 2006 (255 men circumcised as adults)
    “About 6% answered that their sex lives improved, while 20% reported a worse sex life after circumcision.”

    Frisch 2011
    “Conclusions Circumcision was associated with frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men and with a range of frequent sexual difficulties in women, notably orgasm difficulties, dyspareunia and a sense of incomplete sexual needs fulfilment.”

    Bronselaer et al, 2013
    “For the glans penis, circumcised men reported decreased sexual pleasure and lower orgasm intensity”
    Bauer, Kriebel, 2013
    “For studies including boys born after 1995, there was a strong correlation between country-level (n = 9) autism/ASD prevalence in males and a country’s circumcision rate (r = 0.98). A very similar pattern was seen among U.S. states and when comparing the 3 main racial/ethnic groups in the U.S.”
    Frisch, Simonsen, 2015
    “Results: With a total of 4986 ASD cases, our study showed that regardless of cultural background circumcised boys were more likely than intact boys to develop ASD before age 10 years (HR = 1.46; 95% CI: 1.11–1.93). Risk was particularly high for infantile autism before age five years (HR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.36–3.13). Circumcised boys in non-Muslim families were also more likely to develop hyperkinetic disorder (HR = 1.81; 95% CI: 1.11–2.96). Associations with asthma were consistently inconspicuous (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.84–1.10).”

    5. Several national medical organizations are against routine infant male circumcision:

    Canadian Paediatric Society
    “Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed.”
    “Circumcision is a ‘non-therapeutic’ procedure, which means it is not medically necessary.”
    “After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.”

    Royal Australasian College of Physicians
    “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia and New Zealand.”
    (almost all the men responsible for this statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine” circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in Australia.)

    British Medical Association
    “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and inappropriate.”

    The Royal Dutch Medical Association
    “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of children’s rights to autonomy and physical integrity.”

    “[30 September 2013] – At a meeting today in Oslo, the children’s ombudspersons from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), and the children’s spokesperson from Greenland, in addition to representatives of associations of Nordic paediatricians and pediatric surgeons, have agreed to work with their respective national governments to achieve a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.”

    German Pediatric Association
    (very long, but very much against circumcision, and includes the following)
    “Therefore it is not understandable that circumcision of boys should be allowed but that of girls prohibited worldwide. Male circumcision is basically comparable with FGM types Ia and Ib that the Schafi Islamic school of law supports”

  • Tante Jay

    First of all: The parents weren’t married.

    Secondly: There is no such a diagnosis as “Phimosis” in a child. The foreskin is fused to the glans. It is also a genital mutilation, which is despictable by any means.

    Thirdly: Chase has EDS and is tending to keloid scarring. Circumcision WILL end in a neverending horrorstory of repeated surgeries to smooth out the scarring and probably destroy his adult sex life for good.

    Lastly: I see the cultural bias speaking out of every word. You don’t know different so it is natural to you. That it takes an immense painful surgery performed on vulnerable newborns – you don’t care because “that’s what you do”.

    For you it is “the normal thing” to do and “Heather is deprieving a necessary surgery” which is bullshit because the doctor who got asked denied the phimosis diagnosis. Chase has a normal developed penis for his age and does NOT want this surgery – he is vocal about it.

    The rest of the developed world *including* Israel is looking with utter disbelief to the United States and its treatment of a little child and his mother, who got forced under incredible circumcstances into the consent to that surgery – by a father who do not care for his own child. All he cares about is that he got cut. Period.

    Europe is not doing this to their children and for a reason – we do not have vast infections of foreskins here and we still know how to treat a boy.

    Asia with the exception of the cutterfanatics in Indonesia and Philippines is NOT cutting their boys.

    So why are you insisting that it is a good thing? Obviously without any reasearch before?

  • kristi

    Ummm…..yeah Chase’s parents weren’t married….maybe the author of this crap article should do her research, before typing…..

  • Clayton Winters

    Appalling. Yeah, right. The idea that a man should be able to decide for himself how much of his own penis he gets to keep is absurd…. really ?

    Let’s call circumcision what it is. We are talking about cutting off a normal healthy functional and highly erotic part of normal healthy child’s normal healthy penis. And for what ? In Chase’s case, it is because Chase’s biological father wants to hurt his ex-lover through Chase. Chase does not want this done. Chase is going to know what was stolen from him and why. Chase is going to hate his father for life. Chase is going to be psychologically and emotionally traumatized and emasculated. Chase is going to sue his father and the hospital and the doctor and Chase is going to win.

    Let’s talk about medical ethics, okay ?

    In medical ethics, we start with a problem and then research ways to solve it, preferably without resorting to surgery. But with circumcision, we start with a surgery we already do and then research what benefits we can find for it. We have found that circumcision has small value to slightly decrease the odds of rare and/or minor problems most men will never get that are easily prevented with healthy lifestyle choices and most easily cured without destructive invasive surgery by using things like antibiotics.

    In medical ethics, the burden of proof is on showing that surgery has benefits. But with circumcision, we assume there are benefits and the burden of proof is on showing that it does not. When mountains of good sound science shows that the benefits of circumcision are very thin, we dismiss that research because those scientists have anti-circumcision bias and agenda.

    In medical ethics, the burden of proof is on showing that surgery does no harm and carries few risks. With circumcision, we assume there is no harm and the burden of proof is on showing that there is. When mountains of good sound science shows that there is much harm and many risks, we ignore that science because those researchers have anti-circumcision bias and agenda.

    In medical ethics, we have a duty to understand the value function and purpose of the tissue we remove. With circumcision, we assume the foreskin has no value function or purpose and the burden of proof is on showing that it does. Biologists have studied male human foreskin and learned it is an important piece of anatomy with over a dozen different biological jobs and several sexual roles that contribute to the pleasure of both the man and his lover. That research is ignored by people who haven’t had their own foreskin since they were infants because those biologists show an anti-circumcision bias and agenda.

    In medical ethics, we are taught to have an anti-surgery bias. That’s the foundation and cornerstone of medical ethics as they apply to surgery. Surgery is to be our last resort when other, less dangerous destructive and invasive means have failed or would fail.

    We are taught to have an even stronger bias against elective preventive surgery on normal healthy patients who have no problem or special risk factor that needs immediate treatment. Foreskin is not a problem or special risk factor; all normal healthy human males are born with one.

    We are taught to have even stronger bias against surgery on non-consenting minors for whom we seek proxy consent of parents or guardians. We are taught to have the strongest anti-surgery bias of all against elective preventive surgery on normal healthy non-consenting minor patients who have no clear and present disease, disorder, abnormality, or defect in need of immediate treatment that cannot be addressed in a kinder, gentler way. That ethical bias against surgery in that situation is so strong that we never do it. In fact, it is unethical and illegal to do so. A physician who performs elective preventive surgery on a healthy non-consenting minor patient where there is no problem or special risk factor can be dismissed, lose his license, be barred from practice, be fined, jailed, and even sent to prison. Circumcision is the only exception.

    Consider this, if I had my young daughter’s DNA screened and found she had both genetic markers for breast cancer and an 80% chance to develop breast cancer in her life, I might want to get elective preventive double mastectomy to protect her from that. No reputable doctor would do that surgery on a non-consenting minor no matter how much the benefit and no matter how much I begged. He could be jailed for doing so.

    And yet we routinely perform circumcisions for dubious and small reduction in the odds of UTI’s, STI’s, and penile cancer. UTI’s and STI’s are easily prevented with healthy lifestyle choices and most are easily cured with medication and will never need surgery. The odds of a man contracting penile cancer are less than 0.001% and it almost always affects very elderly men with a long history of tobacco use. Last I checked, nobody claims circumcision prevents boys from growing old or keeps people from smoking.

    Consider that… a doctor can be jailed for performing elective preventive surgery to protect my daughter completely from 80% chance of hard to prevent breast cancer but doctors encourage circumcision to slightly reduce the odds of 0.001% chance of easy to prevent penis cancer.

    It is a truism of psychology that the reasons we think we do something are only the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of motivation is deeply subconscious and often our conscious reasons are only rationalizations to justify what our subconscious is driven to do. Is it a coincidence that circumcision, the unique exception to medical ethics where we apply those principles in reverse, just happens to involve amputating an important and erotic part of a man’s most intimate and private sexual anatomy about which our culture has many hang-ups and taboos ? Does anybody still think circumcision is rational, reasonable, and logical ?

    Now for the hard part. The only reason we keep doing circumcision in America is because doctors in denial cannot admit to themselves that circumcision was a big mistake that harmed many boys and men. Medical researchers in denial cannot admit to themselves that circumcision was a big mistake that harmed many boys and men. Parents who had their sons circumcised are in denial and cannot admit they made a big mistake that harmed their beloved children. Circumcised men are in denial and cannot admit that somebody made a big mistake that hurt them and now their penis is less than it should be. Americans in general are in denial and cannot admit their country does something so stupid, harmful, senseless, and absurd as cutting baby penis for no good reason.

    People, especially Americans, have a hard time admitting their minor mistakes. How much harder it must be to admit a mistake that brutalized generations of boys and men ? For loving parents who thought they were doing the best for their child, it must be the hardest mistake to admit of all.

    The reasons doctors and researchers and especially circumcised fathers push so hard to promote circumcision for their patients and sons, and the reason so much research gets done to prove circumcision has benefits and so little to find out the harm and risks is because people in denial practice projection. That’s why we think normal intact penis is so gross, disgusting, ugly, and dirty; that’s why we think normal intact penis is weird and abnormal. That’s why we tell ourselves “I’m circumcised and I’m just fine” and think that is a good enough reason to circumcise others. It’s all because the brutal truth is too painful for us to admit so our subconscious protects us from shame and guilt we cannot face by using denial and projection to manufacture external validation to soothe our minds by perpetuating an inter-generational cycle of socially-sanctioned child abuse.

    What is the brutal truth ? Circumcision is a brutal atrocity of sexual torture and permanent disfigurement so far beyond the imagination of most sane people that our minds literally cannot contain the horror of it. It is easier for us to cut a normal healthy functional and erotic part off of a normal healthy child’s normal healthy penis against his will when he cannot consent and pretend that a man does not have the right to decide for himself how much of his own penis he should get to keep than to the face the ugly facts about what circumcision really is.

    Circumcision is a culturally transmitted socially normalized disease of collective shared psychosis with elements of Stockholm syndrome… “I love my diminished and desensitized penis -it’s superior to normal intact fully functional penis- that’s why my son should have one like mine so he will not be traumatized.”

  • Xandra

    The author of this article has not done her research on the foreskin and/or circumcision. Condoms, NOT CUTTING, prevent disease…and the foreskin protects the glans from being desensitized (keratinization) and facilitates sexual intercourse in many ways. Do your own research, people. This woman has obviously not done ANY.

  • Pete Keay

    It seems the author hasn’t even familiarized herself much with this case. “And that question can only be answered by medical professionals,” she says, apparently without knowing that medical testimony in court called Chase “healthy” and indirectly recommended against the procedure, and certainly not for it. In addition, there’s no “bitter divorce” here. The couple in question has never been married.

    So not only does this article reflect an opinion filled with myths and statements contradicted by medical professionals around the world (with little exception besides a biased all-American task force), it has been written without any decent knowledge of the facts of the very case it purports to address.

  • Kia Siven

    Oh and Comrade X. In USA alone over 100 babies die every year due to circumcision complications. There are surgeons in USA who get their whole livelyhood by correcting boys’ penises destroyed by circumcision. And btw. there are several different types of FGM, not all remove clitoris. It horrifies me that a person can be so cold, demanding millions of maimed kids before caring. Shouldn’t every child count? The writer here, Amy, really shows the misconception of those who defend genital cutting of children. It is not about penises, it is about basic human rights.
    I am fortunate enough to live in a country where medical community and parents view cutting any child’s genitals abusive without very heavy medical reasons and until other methods are used.Less than 6 men out of 100 000 get cut in my country/year for medical reasons. If I had a son and lived in USA, I’d be scared to visit any doctor. tRUE Phimosis is extremely rare condition…except in cutting hungry usa.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      That claimed death rate is a lie fabricated by anti-circ activists to fool the gullible. Looks like it fooled you.

      • yachty

        Fully agree, I have been to at least 50 Bris and never witnessed one complication. The anti’s say you all lies to make parents and circumcised males feel bad. Notice, most men that are anti are uncircumcised….they have the odd man out syndrome.

        • Jhon Murdock

          ..

        • Jhon Murdock

          I’m sure the good doctor will warmly receive your fawning, Semite allegiance. More so for the time it took away from your enormous responsibilities as commodore of the Yacht Club to address her. Yes, a very, very busy circumfetishist who somehow managed to fit in 50 Bris atrocities, to satisfy his lust for ritual pain and blood in the midst of all his exceedingly important nautical functions. The doctor will be so flattered with your comradeship.

          • yachty

            Commodore……No, to young to be Commodore! I have been going to Bris parties all my life! I take my 7 and 4yo to them. It is a good time, my 5 month old had a theme (a big deal these days).

      • Jhon Murdock

        The death rate you refer to is an estimate that very likely is conservatively low. If we go by the results of the Brazilian Study, one death for every 7,500 forced infant circumcisions, we would have a death rate that is well over 200 neonates annually.
        In 2006 the CDC recorded 618 neonate deaths caused by “hemorrhage”. But nowhere does CDC mention what caused all these hemorrhages in the first place. Since you seem to be adept at detecting lies, why not look into this matter and get back to us with the truth of how many of these innocent babies died directly following and as a unique result their forced circumcisions?
        Of course, as a medical license holder, you would know that the quantity of blood loss that can kill an infant—2.3oz—is easily concealed in today’s highly absorbent disposable diapers.
        I’m sure CDC will welcome you with open arms. Godspeed.

      • Jhon Murdock

        It is an estimate that very likely is conservatively low. If we go by the results of the Brazilian Study, one death for every 7,500 forced infant circumcisions, we would have a death rate that is over 200 neonates annually.
        In 2006 the CDC recorded 618 neonate deaths caused by “hemorrhage”. But nowhere does CDC mention (nor do they seem to care) what caused all these hemorrhages in the first place. Since you seem to be adept at detecting lies, why not look into this matter and get back to us with the truth of how many of these innocent babies died following and as a direct result their forced circumcisions?
        Of course, as an ex medical license holder, you would know that the quantity of blood loss that can kill an infant—2.3oz—is easily concealed in today’s highly absorbent disposable diapers.
        I’m sure CDC will welcome you with open arms. Remember, we’re waiting. Godspeed.

      • Jhon Murdock

        Well, what did CDC tell you when you inquired as to how many of the 618 neonate “hemorrhage” deaths that they recorded in 2006 were preceded by forced circumcision? Surely you must be ready to answer that simple question by now. How long do you plan to keep us waiting?

    • yachty

      TOTAL bullshit from the anti idiots! I have never known a guy uncut and have never known a guy with any problems! Kia you are just full of shit like the rest of your clan! You are not even an AMerican! You must be some Eurotrash….

      • Nick Sanders

        Disagree with someone, think they’re stupid, call them stupid, hell call them a motherfucker for all I care, but slurring someone for a factor outside their control, and that includes where they are from, crosses the line.

        • yachty

          Get over it Mary! Go get Married already an don’t worry what parent select for their son(s).

    • yachty

      BTW- Eurotrash, I have three perfectly circumcised boys (7yo, 4yo and 5 months) all their cousins, peers and extended family are circumcised. I have never known an uncircumcised male and more than likely won’t. I am sure some of my offshore clients are, but I just take their money and could careless about them!

  • Yeoman Roman

    Tutler is so wrong about so much, it is hopeless to even begin to address her ridiculous claims.

    This is not about publicity, it is about a four year old boy, who DOESN’T want to have his foreskin removed. There is nothing wrong with it and it is his body. It is a human rights issue.

    Circumcision is medical fraud practiced for profit, at least the way it is practiced in America.

    Tuler has been a shill for circumcision for some time. The particulars of any case don’t concern her, she always has a smug spin for everything she writes.

  • Kia Siven

    Hello AMY TUTEUR from Northern Europe(Finland exact). I have been asking a certain question over 15 years without any answer. Maybe you could answer this; Why so many intact boys in USA have to be circumcised due to problems but here, outside usa, in countries where circumcision is unknown, boys seem to be okay without problems. i am sure you have access to medical statistics to check this yourself. My theory is that because 100 years of brainwashing has done it’s job. Forced retraction practised and adviced by medical community causes infections. In my country no doctor or nurse would never dream of assaulting boy like that, there would be consequencies but in usa it seem to be common practise. what is your theory? why in usa foreskin seem to mean instant problems and infections and suffering?

    • yachty

      It is cleaner, healthier and better looking! What male wants an ugly stinky penis! A few minutes of discomfort for a lifetime of benefits. Growing up I never knew an uncircumcised guy. If there was one in the locker room he would have been the target of all kinds of crap! Even in our Military if you are uncircumcised, they circumcise you when you first enter. The only people not circumcising are Hispanics and a handful of hippies! Normal white parents (80%, according to recent CDC numbers) circumcise.

      • Julia

        Oh get over yourself. I must not be a normal white parent then. Maybe I’m a hispanic hippie?
        I grew up in Europe, and to me circumcised penises look weird. Wait, I actually think they all do, lol.

        Oh, and def. not stinky.

        • yachty

          I am sorry you had to grow up in such deplorable conditions! No wonder you are tainted and bruised. You have all kinds of Mexican foreskin here in the USA….not so much white foreskin….Unless you want spread it on your face like Oprah and Barbara Walters…..foreskins make good anti wrinkle cream!

  • TLCTugger

    Any forced intervention is ethical only if waiting for the patient’s informed consent would lead to net harm, and when less-destructive options are exhausted. Genital cutting violates ethics and human rights. Monsters do it, monsters sit on the sidelines and let it happen.

  • Vincent Coletta

    Comrade X Millions of little buys undergo forced genital cutting every year, people like myself don’t see a difference between the sex and what is wrong or isn’t. We see a person having part of their genitals removed. That is the difference between to me. I don’t how a person is wrong, I care that a person is wrong, and I don’t care what genitals they have between their legs.

  • cosmopolite

    Tuteur wrote: “The real issue here is two parents who despise each other using the body of their son to fight their battles.”

    That sentence is a very compelling reason to conclude that Florida justice is wrong, and Chase’s body should be left alone.

  • Amy Tuteur M.D. is a quack.

    • Jhon Murdock

      Keep on trucking, Dude!

    • Jhon Murdock

      Consider coming over to FaceBook and joining Intactivist Library. You’d make a great addition to the group!

    • cosmopolite

      She is not a doctor. She gave up her licence to practice medicine a number of years ago.

      • Poogles

        Choosing to not renew her license because she decided to stay home and raise her children does not strip her of her Medical Degree, so yes, she still is, and always will be, a Medical Doctor.

        • cosmopolite

          She stopped practicing medicine more than 20 years ago, and surrendered her licence. Case closed.

          • Poogles

            “She stopped practicing medicine more than 20 years ago, and surrendered her licence. Case closed.”

            Yep – she is a M.D./doctor who is not currently practicing. Case closed.

          • cosmopolite

            She gave up her licence decades ago and so cannot easily resume practicing.

          • Poogles

            …and? What do the requirements for returning to practice have to do with anything? A doctor does not lose their education and ability to keep up with the literature just because they are no longer practicing.

          • cosmopolite

            Practice and having an up to date licence are needed for credibility. Medicine is a trade as well as an intellectual activity.

          • cosmopolite

            Tuteur has not practiced medicine for about 25 years, and that means her human capital has gone stale. She also does not interact with parents, and hence she is probably unaware that the popularity of routine infant circumcision has declined in the USA, esp. among well educated parents. Tuteur has the old American prejudice that having foreskin is a mark of redneck ancestry.

          • Poogles

            “She also does not interact with parents”

            Except for all the parents who read her blog, and all the ones that contact her privately….

          • yachty

            The only reason it has declined is because the influx of Illegal Mexicans who do not circumcise. The CDC has a rate of 80% for white parents. I live in SoCal in a very expensive beach city and can assure you all our friends have or are going to circumcise their boys. My wife belongs to the PTA and it came up in a meeting, just so no boy feels odd man out! She also has women at the house all the time and they talk babies etc…..Our boys are 7, 4 and 5mo and all three have been circumcised. I wouldn’t be seen with a kid with a foreskin or shopping at a Walmart!

          • Alison Mercer

            the mentality , u are really that obsessed with being white. congrats on living in your expensive beach city and your wife being a boring(i imagine a bore, she married you) member of the pta. that is you bragging right. u would not want to be seen with A kid with a foreskin? yer a crackpot

          • yachty

            You are the mental one! Darling it is SoCal and housing isn’t inexpensive! My wife is hardly boring! She is teaching sailing this summer to the Jrs is very active in the community. We go surfing mostly every day and generally have a great life!

          • yachty

            I have a friend that was a Neurologist, he quit practicing and just consults now……Still considered an MD, just doesn’t operate. His cost of malpractice was $400k a year! You should see what OB/GYN’s pay!

          • Jhon Murdock

            Did he give up his medical license as well?

        • cosmopolite

          Having a medical degree, especially one that is now nearly 40 years old, does not make one a medical doctor. Being a doctor requires occasional retraining and recertification.

          • Poogles

            “Being a **practicing** doctor requires occasional retraining and recertification.”
            There, fixed that for you.

          • cosmopolite

            The views on the human body of a person who did an MD, but has not practiced medicine for a quarter century, are not very valuable or interesting. Practice most definitely is required in addition to classroom work.

          • Poogles

            A doctor does not lose their education and ability to keep up with the literature just because they are no longer practicing. Dr. Amy continues to read and analyze new data and studies. Her views are informed, and are found to be valuable by many, many people, including ACOG (who invited her to speak at the annual meeting in 2013).

          • cosmopolite

            Her views on how the tip of the human penis should look and function are most definitely not informed, a flaw she shares with many/most USA pediatricians and obgyns.
            I am very very disappointed that Amy Tuteur was invited to speak to the 2013 ACOG annual meeting. I smell political correctness.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Hey, Einstein, which is it? You shouldn’t listen to me because I stopped practicing medicine or you shouldn’t listen to me because I’m just like the majority of obstetricians and pediatricians who are practicing medicine? It can’t be both.

            You really need to keep your insults straight or it might lead people to think you are a fool.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            According to his other comments we also shouldn’t listen because you’re a proud Jew.

            I don’t even want to attempt to start digging in that garden of wtf.

          • Jhon Murdock

            Both you and the ACOG are woefully misinformed and out of date. Cosmopolite is logically correct. The male penis has never been part of the purview of obstetrics or gynecology.

          • yachty

            Medical text books still only show circumcised penis! This is the USA and it is the normal penis!

          • Alison Mercer

            you are frickin nuts dude. well maybe not nuts just racist bigoted and annoying . go admire your circumcised cock why dont u. actually u are probably jealous of the uncircucised ones. and the ones that are bigger than 1/4 inch

          • yachty

            Sorry Alison, it is true! In the USA medical text books do not show foreskins! Go have a zanibar! Stupid cunt!

          • cosmopolite

            Your verbal fix does not fix the fact that Amy Tuteur ceased practicing medicine a generation ago.

          • Nick Sanders

            Nor does it take away the fact that she graduated from medical school, and deserves recognition for such.

          • cosmopolite

            Once she resigned from Harvard Medical School and gave up her licence to practice medicine, she became a private citizen with an opinion.

          • Nick Sanders

            Not how it works.

          • yachty

            She is a doctor and you work at Walmart…..

          • Jhon Murdock

            And you are a brilliant communicator as long as you are speaking in Walmart. Just because you purchased everything you own there does not justify your claim to membership in the middle class.

          • yachty

            Sorry, my little wetback, but I have never stepped foot into a Walmart! I never claimed to be part of the middle class….I have no idea how people can support on a family on less than $250,000 usd!

          • Gozi

            Are you aware there are people who have the same poor opinion of Jews that you have of minorities? I hope you are joking.

        • cosmopolite

          What she did strips her of the right to be taken as an expert on any aspect of health care. She is merely a private citizen with an opinion. And quite ugly and hostile opinions, I might add.

          • Fallow

            Um, you’re one to talk. You’ve already established that you don’t think it’s “ugly and hostile” to say that Dr. Amy is failing to “rise above her Jewish ancestry”.

          • cosmopolite

            It is true that Amy Tuteur is a proud Jew. And it is also true that Tuteur’s blog has made snarky deprecating remarks about the natural human penis, remarks that are totally unprofessional from the pen of someone who claims to speak with medical authority.

          • Poogles

            “What she did strips her of the right to be taken as an expert on any aspect of health care.”

            Apparently not, otherwise she would not have been invited to speak by ACOG or be contacted by the media numerous times for her expert opinion as an OB/GYN. Your opinion of her credibility is irrelevant to everyone but you.

          • yachty

            You really are a hostile idiot! She is a Doctor that can write papers and books and use DOCTOR! DUMB ASS!

      • yachty

        She is a doctor, just not a licensed practicing doctor….You are as stupid as it comes! If an attorney is not practicing or licensed you can’t take his JD away…..Have another hit of acid!

        • Jhon Murdock

          Ah, yes. The good unlicensed, unpracticing doctor. Thanks for making that crystal clear.

      • Jhon Murdock

        Hmm…

  • Vincent Coletta

    Hi, am sickened over the idea that people like you and those here believe they have a say about what happens to MY body. I wish I had been left the way nature made it, sadly thanks to unethical doctors, and quack science that was known to be false when I was born my body was altered against my will.

    Human right activism like this here is about the crazy notion that men have a right to their own body. I see you have given interviews to feminist podcasts and I am aware feminism is a big support of the cause to end Genital Mutilation of EVERYONE

    Circumcision has done me no favors! I love when my wife and I partake in one of the most intimate and beautiful experiences in life, but for me it can be a very dark experience on occasion because part of my body was altered against my will. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use an artificial lubricant or sex would be too painful for my wife and me. Climax is not the same for me as it is for my wife or for Natural (Intact) males. They describe orgasm as a wave all over the body, while a mutilated male (circumcised) expresses it as a singular explosion (bordering on pain) from the penis. Imagine not wanting your wife to touch you as you lay crying on your back from shame and pain due to sores caused by abrasion and/or at times a complete and total loss of erection and feeling. The foreskin contains 20,000 fine touch nerves (like in your fingers) and provides protection of the glans (head) keeping it soft and sponge like, all in an effort to ensure everything works properly. 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 easily be treated without surgery. One hundred and seventeen babies die from circumcision a year in the US, which equates to 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 performed when they were infants. It isn’t right that these children pay the price for a decision that 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.

    Elephant in the Hospital

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

    Learn how sex is supposed to work.

    http://Www.sexasnatureintendedit.com

    Babies experience pain just like adults.

    http://www.iflscience.com/brain/infants-experience-pain-similar-way-adults

    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? It is illegal to sell an organ taken from a patient but they still do it.

    Foreskin for sale: $169/500µg = $338,000/g = $9,581,962/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/n2so0ojf7h8ljeu/KNMG-viewpoint-Non-therapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-27-05-2010-v2%20%281%29.pdf

    Surgeons of British Columbia

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/71xsnx9tjwvych3/Circumcision-Infant-Male-College%20of%20Phys%20and%20Surg%20of%20British%20Columbia.pdf

    Doctors around the world critique AAP’s circumcision opinion.

    http://www.circumstitions.com/Docs/aap-12-europe.pdf

    This document outlines the deaths caused by circumcision in the US.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vl5t3aewfgtz8mg/CircDeaths.pdf

    All the statements made by medical organizations about circumcision, and they are cited.

    http://www.cirp.org/library/statements/

    Functions of the Foreskin.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xoq9y67hhunkyrx/foreskinfunctions.jpg

    Breast cancer kills more men than anything related to the foreskin.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tnmmxqdl1batucf/penilecancer.jpg

    American Cancer society says Circumcision does nothing to affect cancer rates.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/zz23nzayyrmih0t/ACScirc.jpg

    Meta-analysis of circumcision research

    http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/urology/2013/109846/

    Circumcised men have a 450% greater chance of ED

    http://www.thewholenetwork.org/14/post/2011/08/does-circumcision-cause-erectile-dysfunction.html

    All the common 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. There are many cases like this however they usually occur in infants who cannot express themselves in words.

    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

    Circumcision is PAINFUL!

    http://www.circumstitions.com/Pain.html

    Men upset about being circumcised against their will.

    http://www.mendocomplain.com

    Visual comparison of a Natural Penis versus a circumcised one. (Warning pictures of Genitals)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/pvj1d0fde5vlt2i/Intact%20%26%20Circumcised%20Adult.jpg

    Note the faces BOTH victims make. One is male, the other female.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gcwd6dof26x9gyc/1380094_598713180178190_1272291232_n.jpg

    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

    • Jhon Murdock

      Your great comments are over the top! But I am just not aware of feminism being a big support of the cause to end Genital Mutilation of everyone. Could you please post a few links?

  • Gozi

    I just want to know where I can get some of those candy penises in the picture. ..

  • Proponents of circumcision are racist.

    “From our observations and experience in such cases, we feel fully
    warranted in suggesting the wholesale circumcision of the Negro race
    as an efficient remedy in preventing the predisposition to
    indiscriminate raping so inherent in that race. We have seen this act
    as a valuable preventive measure in cases where an inordinate and
    unreasoning as well as morbid carnal desire threatened physical
    shipwreck; if in such cases the morbid appetite has been removed or
    at least brought within manageable and natural bounds, we cannot see
    why it should not – at least in a certain beneficial degree –
    also affect the moral stamina of a race proverbial for the leathery
    consistency, inordinate redundancy, generous sebaceousness and
    general mental suggestiveness and hypnotizing influence of an
    unnecessary and rape, murder and lynching breeding prepuce. ”

    P.C.
    Remondino MD, “Questions of the day: Negro rapes and their
    social problems”, National Popular Review, Vol. 4, January 1894,
    p. 3-6

    “The prophylaxis of syphilis in the Negro race is especially
    difficult, for it is impossible to persuade the poor variety of Negro
    that sexual gratification is wrong, even when he is in the actively
    infectious stage. It is probable that sex hygiene lectures will not
    have the slightest effect on this type, especially when one considers
    the risks that many of our own medical students run. As regards
    personal prophylaxis, all male babies should be cgircumcised, both
    for the purpose of avoiding local irritation which will increase the
    sexual appetite ”

    H.H.
    Hazen, “Syphilis in the American Negro”, Journal of the American
    Medical Association, Vol. LXIII (6), 8 August 1914, pp. 463-468

    “The male Negro child, he claims, is subject to many nervous disorders
    from slight irritation. This characteristic follows him through life.
    An enlarged prepuce is assigned as the most frequent cause of
    irritation, and its removal, he believes, will lead to the stopping
    of sexual crimes and to the moral improvement of the race. ”

    “Circumcision
    for the correction of sexual crimes among the Negro race”,Maryland
    Medical Journal, Vol. 30, February 1894, pp. 345-6

    http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=63

    • Yeoman Roman

      What does Tutler say about your historical quotes? They are revealing! Circumcisers are racist…. Hummmmm…. Ugly history there.

  • “circumcision is a religious, cosmetic and medical decision with essentially no impact beyond the benefit of reducing the risk of transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.”

    That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Tu quoque, You call us foreskin fetishists; I call you a circumcision fetishist. Circumcision surgery gets you aroused.

    The Cochrane Collaboration is an independant panel that is set up to do unbiased reviews. Here is what they had to say,
    HIV/AIDS and circumcision: lost in translation
    1. Marie Fox, 
    2. Michael Thomson

    In April 2009 a Cochrane review was published assessing the effectiveness of male circumcision in preventing acquisition of HIV. It concluded that there was strong evidence that male circumcision, performed in a medical setting, reduces the acquisition of HIV by men engaging in heterosexual sex. Yet, importantly, the review noted that further research was required to assess the feasibility, desirability and cost-effectiveness of implementation within local contexts. This paper endorses the need for such research and suggests that, in its absence, it is premature to promote circumcision as a reliable strategy for combating HIV. Since articles in leading medical journals as well as the popular press continue to do so, scientific researchers should think carefully about how their conclusions may be translated both to policy makers and to a more general audience. The importance of addressing ethico-legal concerns that such trials may raise is highlighted. The understandable haste to find a solution to the HIV pandemic means that the promise offered by preliminary and specific research studies may be overstated. This may mean that ethical concerns are marginalised. Such haste may also obscure the need to be attentive to local cultural sensitivities, which vary from one African region to another, in formulating policy concerning circumcision.

    J Med Ethics 2010;36:798-801 doi:10.1136/jme.2010.038695

  • The owner of the sex organ doesn’t want his foreskin removed. The mother doesn’t want the foreskin removed.

    Why is it so hard for you to accept that ALL MEN deserve the CHOICE to keep 100% of their natural-born sex organs? Circumcision is a violation of human rights.

    You are trying to paint us as a fringe group, but it is penis cutters like yourself who are the true fringe group when 80% of the world’s men are INTACT. Circumcision is not normal. Circumcision is wrong.

  • The owner of the sex organ doesn’t want his foreskin removed. The mother doesn’t want the foreskin removed.

    Why is it so hard for you to accept that ALL MEN deserve the CHOICE to keep 100% of their natural-born sex organ? Circumcision is a violation of human rights.

    You are trying to paint us as a fringe group, but it is penis cutters like yourself who are the fringe group when 80% of the world’s men are INTACT. Circumcision is not normal. Circumcision is wrong.

  • Melissa McCarthy

    Amy you are a complete crack pot.

  • attitude devant

    Oh my goodness. I can’t believe people are still at it here. This was posted WEEKS ago.

    • itry2brational

      And here you are, keeping it going! You know what’s ironic about your ‘this is old news’ complaint? This article’s opening is a word-for-word copy to one Tuteur wrote in 2009! How’s that for digging up old material!

      http://i.imgur.com/P9SCpKk.png

  • Joy Brown

    !!! “LOVE is the key to LIFE”. !!!

    “LOVE is the key to LIFE”. That was the word from Dr Ukaka when I consulted his powerful Love Temple. I married the wrong man; I realized that after four years of our unfruitful marriage. Everything was going from Best to Worst in our life, no child, I got demoted from work after our marriage, my husband was sacked a year after. His application for new job in various offices was constantly declined even though he was qualified enough. I was made to take care of my family with the low income I earn get that wasn’t enough to pay our rent. We keep praying a seeking for help from some people, my friends laugh at me behind because I was advised not to get married yet.It was one Thursday night that my husband woke me up and told me that has thought enough about our crisis, he said that our crisis is not ordinary and it’s beyond our spiritual level. He suggested we should consult Dr Ukaka from testimonies he showed me online about how he has been helping families. I was afraid, I don’t like evil or spell but I supported him to contact him if he can help us. We consulted him via freedomlovespel@gmail.com and he replied positively after 20munites with congratulating email that he can help us but he will need our pure heart and trusts in his work if he will cast the spell on us and purify our life. We agreed to his terms. He cast the spell and told us to expect results within 5days. I waited for three days nothing happened, so I started having doubt and blaming my husband for emailing Dr Ukaka. It was on the fifth day that my husband was called for an interview and he got a well-paying work, I was prompted to a higher position. I missed my period on the 5th day and it was confirmed that I am with a baby. Things have really changed for us for good and we now have our own house and cars. I will never forget what Dr Ukaka told us “LOVE is the key to LIFE”, this word keep me going. People that laughed at us are coming close for help and I am delighted to welcome them because my family is now blessed. Dr Ukaka is a savior and man that keep to his word even when I doubted his powers at the end of the spell. Thank you great Dr Ukaka and your Oracle for helping us via freedomlovespel@gmail.com and I will keep spreading this message to people in need of help. also contact him for help.website address: http://freedomlovespel.yolasite.com ; also call Dr.Ukaka on his mobile number +2348133873774),

  • rh1985

    There is now a new fundraiser to help the mother fight to get shared custody back. Only about $200 has been raised so far. $50k was raised to try and stop the circumcision. Apparently, the intactivists don’t care if Chase is left in the full custody of a man they claim is a sick, perverted, child abuser, it’s like they don’t even care what happens to him with the circumcision case lost, he’s no longer worth their time or money if he doesn’t get to keep his foreskin.

    • itry2brational

      A “NEW fundraiser” with 106 days to go and is only a few days old hasn’t met its goal. Must be hypocrisy!
      Are you seriously that desperate? You even said it yourself, “a *new* fundraiser”. Just exactly how much time do they get…according to you?

      http://www.youcaring.com/heather-hironimus-357084

      • fiftyfifty1

        Now it’s up to $262.

        • itry2brational

          Now its up to $412! Only 102 days left! I wonder if posting the link here is what helped it nearly double. lol

    • Jhon Murdock

      How much have you contributed to Heather’s custody cause?

  • MaineJen

    There does not seem to be any place in these discussions for my ilk. I have come to realize that circ is largely a cultural and religious practice, and all things being equal, I would come down on the side of anti-circ, purely because I now see that it’s unnecessary. Like most Americans, I was unaware of what the procedure actually was until I saw it. I would not choose it again.

    But I draw the line at telling people who come down on the pro-circ side that they’re mutilating their kids, that they’re permanently damaging their kids, that they’re no better than people who condone FGM. They’re not, and it’s not the same thing AT ALL as FGM.

    That’s why I don’t call myself an inactivist. I find it hard to say that “I agree” with someone who’s so stridently trying to shame people. The circ rate in America is steadily falling as more and more people come to the same conclusion I did. The ‘battle’ is being won not by the screamers, but by the calm educators.

    • Poogles

      You and me both.

    • “and it’s not the same thing AT ALL as FGM.”

      That is pure enthno-centric propaganda. “What those barbaric, brown-people do way over there, is nothing like what we, civilized, white-people do over here. It’s completely different!” Except, that it isn’t.

      “In 2015 ,” he said in his judgment, “the law generally, and family
      law in particular, is still prepared to tolerate non-therapeutic male
      circumcision performed for religious or even for purely cultural or
      conventional reasons, while no longer being willing to tolerate FGM
      in any of its forms.

      “Given the comparison between what is involved in male circumcision and FGM WHO Type IV, to dispute that the more invasive procedure involves the significant harm involved in the less invasive procedure would seem almost irrational. In my judgment, if FGM Type IV amounts to significant harm, as in my judgment it does, then the same must be so of male circumcision.”

      -Judge Sir James Munby

      In the case of anti-FGC advocacy, the voice of “brown women”
      is almost entirely absent, literally silenced by an insistence that
      the horrendousness of the practice precludes any possible positive
      evaluation, and therefore the only valid voices are those that
      condemn FGC. All contradictory testimony is dismissed as the result
      of “brainwashing,” “false consciousness,” “fear of
      male reprisal,” “anti-Westernism”, “ignorance,” or other
      forms of willful or unwillful complicity.

      https://www.academia.edu/1622829/Female_Genital_Cutting_Sexuality_and_Anti-FGC_Advocacy

    • Clayton Winters

      The only difference between circumcision and female genital mutilation that matters is this. We easily see through the lies foreign people tell to justify something they do that seems strange to us but normal to them. We are blind to see through the exact same likes we tell to justify what we do that seems normal to us but very strange indeed to the rest of the world.

    • yachty

      Actually according to the CDC the reason the rate went down is the large influx of illegal Mexican that have a large breeding program. Whites are still circumcising at a rate of 80%……. Mexicans are filthy animals…one thing I agree with Trump on!

    • Jhon Murdock

      Both FGM and MGM are painful and wrong as two left shoes. Both need to be stopped. Both sets of parents are indeed mutilating their children. So why are are you only comfortable calling the parents of the girls mutilators?
      By the way in the countries that practice genital cutting of their girls, the practice is known, and has been known for thousands of years, as female circumcision. These parents enormously resent outsiders like yourself referring to their time honored female circumcision practice as mutilation.

  • itry2brational

    “The babies’ brains responded in the same way to a poke (force 128 mN) as adults did to a stimulus that was four times stronger (512 mN).”

    Brand new research. Circ is more painful to a newborn than an adult.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/292717.php

    • Wombat

      Brand new research of 20 whole people! This is great for bringing attention to the need to figure out, consider, and continue to study pain relief in neonates and infants.

      It’s not a reason to discontinue a procedure (any procedure, not just circ) that can be and is easily done with pain relief.

      This is like saying “man needle sticks hurt, no childhood vaccines!!”

      • “It’s not a reason to discontinue a procedure (any procedure, not just circ) that can be and is easily done with pain relief.”

        It is a perfect reason to discontinue a painful, non-therapeutic procedure.

        British Medical Association
        “to circumcise for therapeutic reasons
        where medical research has shown other techniques to be at least as effective and less invasive would be unethical and
        inappropriate.”
        http://bma.org.uk/-/media/Files/PDFs/Practical%20advice%20at%20work/Ethics/Circumcision.pdf

        The Royal Dutch Medical Association
        “The official viewpoint of KNMG and other related medical/scientific organisations is that
        non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is a violation of
        children’s rights to autonomy and physical
        integrity.”
        http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Diensten/knmgpublicaties/KNMGpublicatie/Nontherapeutic-circumcision-of-male-minors-2010.htm

        Canadian Pediatric Society
        “Circumcisionis a ‘non-therapeutic’
        procedure, which means it is not medicallynecessary.”

        “After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcision, the CPS does not recommend routine circumcision for newborn boys. Many
        paediatricians no longer perform circumcisions.”

        Royal Australian College of Physicians
        “After reviewing the currently available evidence, the RACP believes that the frequency of diseases modifiable by circumcision, the level of protection offered by circumcision and the complication rates of circumcision do not warrant routine infant circumcision in Australia
        and New Zealand.”
        (almost all the men responsible for this
        statement will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision
        rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%. “Routine”
        circumcision is now *banned* in public hospitals in
        Australia.)
        http://www.racp.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=65118B16-F145-8B74-236C86100E4E3E8E

        • Wombat

          I can copy and paste just as many medical and human rights bodies who disagree back at you (UN, WHO, AMA, AAP).

          But that doesn’t serve any purpose because you either disagree with them (fine, good on you even) or think they’re evil and lying for no reason. That one isn’t arguable in any realm of sanity so I won’t bother tying.

      • Jhon Murdock

        Needle sticks may hurt but they don’t permanently remove any organ. There are no benefits to forced infant circumcision. No long term studies of the inherent harms and risks of forced infant circumcision have ever been done. Nor are any contemplated. This mutilation entered our society in the mid 1800s as a cure and punishment for masturbation. It is now an estimated $2Billion/yr juggernaut that is viciously fighting tooth and nail for its own profitable survival.
        Twenty or two thousand subjects makes no difference, surgical removal of organs from anyone without their consent is a Human Rights violation of the first magnitude.
        No need to discontinue the procedure, we just need to age regulate it to 18yrs or older.

        • Wombat

          They merely posted a tiny study about pain, full stop.

          By that methodology, I stubbed my toe, ban end tables.

          All of your other points have been discussed left, right, back, and center – and I don’t feel like continuing to rehash with the latest one of you to be selected for immediate air-drop.

          My comment stands: pain alone, especially ~possibly increased pain indicated by a tiny study with limited methodology~ is a poor argument.

          But I’m sure you have a copy paste diatribe, so I await my Disqus notification.

          • Jhon Murdock

            Naw, just surgically remove your toes, you clumsy, oafish moron. You’ll also find that you can stand much closer to the bar.
            Surgery! The only answer.

          • Nick Sanders

            It took you six months to come up with that comeback? That’s sad.

          • Jhon Murdock

            Stopped taking your pills purge inanity? Be honest.

        • yachty

          There is no we! You are in Central American and not a citizen of the USA! A foreskin is not an oragan, it is a tiny piece of the largest organ….called SKIN!

          • Jhon Murdock

            I am an honorary citizen of all countries, you bilge swilling, culturally biased moron. Fifteen square inches of prepuce is a HUGE loss of the most highly innervated, specialized in function (just like lips and finger pads etc.), erotic skin on the human body. And BTW, one’s foreskin is the best transplant skin to make repairs after prostate surgery. You’ve been riding the peri’ah express for so long you no longer know which way is up.

          • yachty

            Please, Honorary Citizen of the World….LMFAO!

            Foreskins can be grown into 6’x6′ sheets for skin graphs. They also make a great anti wrinkle cream, Oprah and Barbara Walters swear by it! Two great uses fore a useless flap of skin!

            Did you know the UK is the biggest buyer of American foreskins? They are! They are making an injectable anti wrinkle serum from them. They are slowly going to go for FDA approval.

          • Jhon Murdock

            The anti wrinkle effect doesn’t last long, just a couple of weeks so Opa and Wawa need an endless assembly line of unconsenting, helpless victims whose trafficked foreskins are always in the pipeline.
            Why do these misandrist money grubbers never think to use the foreskins of little girls in their miracle creams? The skin tissue and the net result are identical.
            The Brits, having long ago abandoned forced infant circumcision, can only rely on a small number of foreskins of foolish Jews who are not smart enough to follow the example of their host country. Better educated, humanistic and loving Jews everywhere are flocking to Brit Shalom.
            That man haters like Opa and Wawa can recruit men like you, to advocate violence against other males before they can even understand what’s at stake, or defend themselves, is beyond belief.

            Have you no sense of shame?

  • Renee Martin

    Seeing women fight over a boys penis is like seeing men fight about abortion. Maybe there are some things best left to the sex that has the body parts?

    Why are anti circ people so insane (just read one of their boards to see this in action)? I didn’t circ my kid because I see it as religious, and we aren’t, but this fervor is kinda crazy.

    And misandry? LOL forever. You do realize if MEN didn’t want kids circ’d they wouldn’t be, right?

    • Maya Markova

      Maybe anti-circ people are insane because a pro-circ judge imprisoned a mother indefinitely until she gave “consent” to circ.

      A lesson of history is – when people like you are imprisoned, get insane and do something before they have got to you.

      • rh1985

        she was imprisoned for refusing to follow the custody agreement she signed. If the agreement said no circumcision, and she had tried to have him circumcised, she also would have gone to jail.

        • Maya Markova

          This cannot be proved, especially with so many commenters here and elsewhere saying that the unmarried father is a great parent because he wants to do the normal thing for his son, and the mother is a freak foreskin fetishist (and so are all who defend her).
          BTW, the same father didn’t implement the signed agreement for 3 whole years, but nobody went after him. Maybe the judge is not as much a circumcision zealot as a vicious misogynist. I’d be interested about whether his earlier decisions reveal some gender bias.

          • rh1985

            I don’t see many people saying he’s a great dad. Even people who are not against infant circ, were saying he should just let it go at this point because of the child’s age. For the record I am not impressed with the parenting skills of either mom or dad and I feel sorry for this kid stuck with two parents who can’t co-parent at all.
            who would have gone after him in that time? the court doesn’t check on custody situations unless there’s a CPS case or one of the parents complains to the court that it’s not being followed. it would be hard to look into the judge because family court cases are sealed and they only end up in the news if a parent goes to the media…
            I honestly think the mother started out with completely wrong legal arguments and I have no idea if it was a bad lawyer or she became more morally opposed after the case drew attention and intactivists got involved, because unless her lawyer was the worst lawyer ever she was initially only concerned with the medical risk which hadn’t changed from 2-3 years ago.

    • You do realize if WOMEN didn’t want their DAUGHTERS circ’d they wouldn’t be, right? Or, are the women, as usual, unaccountable because they’ve been brain-washed by the all powerful patriarchy?

      What level of insanity is required to result in an obsessive compulsion to cut away normal, healthy erogenous tissue from a vulnerable child?

    • Jhon Murdock

      But these men want their boys to have a bald headed penis, just like daddy! And this is a lot easier than confronting the terrible truth of what their parents forced on them. Big can of worms.
      You do realize that if the women of the world who are circumcising their daughters didn’t want their daughters circed, they wouldn’t be, right?
      Misogyny!!? LOL.

    • Clayton Winters

      By your logic, Renee, the only people who get to decide whether we should circumcise or not would be men who still have their foreskins. I wonder how that would go down ?

    • yachty

      You are cool, but your kid will hate you!

    • Jhon Murdock

      ..

  • itry2brational

    “circumcision is a religious, cosmetic and medical decision with essentially no impact”
    A procedure with no impact is one you don’t do. Why are people like you in such a fuss over cutting a boy’s penis if your advocacy has “essentially no impact”? Circ has had NO IMPACT on the “transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS” in the US. If it has, if you can show that higher circ rates in the US has translated into lower “transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS” then do it.

    You don’t have the faintest clue what you’re talking about.

    • Proponents of circumcision are either incapable or unwilling to understand the difference between efficacy, i.e. results in a clinical setting, and effectiveness, i.e. results in a real, world setting.

      • Jhon Murdock

        Oh they know all right. They just don’t care.

  • Speaksvolumes

    1. Circumcision is genital mutilation. Period.
    2. Claims of HIV protection are exaggerated.
    3. Unnecessary and catastrophic injuries.
    4. Circumcision takes away a person’s religious rights.

    • Wombat

      4. Banning circumcision does too.

      And I really – purely personally – hate the religious argument for circumcision because I am unabashedly unreligious and think religion as a whole is pretty darn silly (though I respect that some don’t and as long as they don’t infringe on others more power to them), but damn – the contradiction in that one is obvious.

      Here’s a novel idea: let’s regulate medicine based on medical facts, and if someone’s private religious views dictate that they do or don’t do a procedure, they can apply those on their own, within reason. Argue the reason if you must (and clearly, you are) but just saying that it takes away religious rights is silly as all get out.

      • Speaksvolumes

        orced to permanently bear religious or cult symbols, especially when they may not identify with it as an adult. Many will not follow their parent’s religion into adulthood, and thus should not be forced to bear their guardian’s religious symbols on the most private areas of their bodies. However, once of consensual age a man should be allowed

        • Wombat

          A child should not be kept from wearing the permanent religious symbols, especially when the symbol is a medically accepted as safe and reasonable minor cosmetic procedure. The majority of children do keep their parent’s religion, especially if they are observant/conservative enough to be modifying their body in their most private, only visible to god, areas.

          Again, I’m not even a believer but if you’re arguing from religion you might want to follow what they actually believe. I’m A-OK with not arguing from religion at all though, as I’ve already stated.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Then would you support some levels of FGM for Muslims if it meant that the clitoris would not be entirely excised?

          • Wombat

            Is FGM an accepted, safe medical procedure done by doctors? Where does the line for religious freedom in body modification fall? If you’re against infant piercing, is it ok if they’re Hindu or Fulani?

          • Speaksvolumes

            No – because I’m against doing a permanent cosmetic procedure or one for potential medical reasons to anyone without their consent.

            If FGM was performed in sterile conditions by trained physicians in a hospital setting and was an FGM Level IV classification (as designated by WHO), would you support it?

          • Wombat

            A doctor doing surgery that just happens to be in the genital area? No, I’d rather the baby suffer and/or die. It’s not FGM if it’s being done for medical reasons, and we’re floating off to cloud cuckoo land if you really can’t see the difference.

          • Speaksvolumes

            I didn’t say ‘if it was being done for medical reasons.’

            I said would you support FGM (as a religious/cultural/ritual practice) if it was done without the full excision of the clitoris and was performed in a sterile environment by a doctor?

          • Wombat

            What if their clitoris just falls off, and the parents decline to reattach it, is that FGM?

            That’s the point the hypotheticals are getting to in this conversation.

          • You’re actually just devolving into an argument composed entirely of red-herrings.

          • Wombat

            You look like a super rational dude that I totally want to have a discussion with: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/gatesfoundation/male_circumcision_kenyas_hiv_prevention_weapon/#comment-1850186971

            Also, the sound of parachutes is overwhelming.

          • Robert Howard

            Yes, it is in some places. Look at Indonesia.

          • Wombat

            I’m seeing the instructions for symbolic scratching in 2010, which still isn’t good but is also not remotely comparable to removal of parts. It’s a religious or at least quasi-religious government, they do lots of other messed up human rights stuff too, all across the globe. That doesn’t inflate sarin gas to an “accepted, safe method of punishment or execution” so it doesn’t really fulfill that here either, imo.

            Even with that backtracking it appears to be mostly still done by Islamic, non-medical organizations or lay midwives, who this blog has already established may be necessary in some countries but still aren’t doctors. I suppose it’s a step up from doing it in a shed with a shaman, but it’s still hardly a medical procedure.

          • yachty

            Circumcision in the USA is Secular, 80% of males are circumcised and 80% of white male babies are circumcised everyday!

          • Wombat

            TIL there are only white men. Read stats before you parachute into a month old+ conversation to copy paste them maybe.

        • SporkParade

          Judaism isn’t a religion.

          • yachty

            WTF are you talking about? Judaism is the original Monotheist religion! Jews are the chosen people by Gd!

          • SporkParade

            We Jews have a religion, yes, but at the end of the day, we are a tribe more than anything else. Without understanding that, then nothing about the religion makes any sense.

          • yachty

            Hebrews are the people and Judaism is the religion. All though in this day and age both are grouped as Jew/Judaism.

          • Jhon Murdock

            Chosen? More like singled out!

          • yachty

            You need to learn your place! You are hispanic and here to serve us!

        • yachty

          Circumcision is not religious in the USA! I was born and raised in SoCal and have never known a guy that was not circumcised! I have heard of women tossing uncut guys out of bed!

          • Speaksvolumes

            Judging by your other comments, I think it’s safe to say you’ve used up your daily quota of exclamation points. Go have a lie down and come back when you’re well-rested. LOL

          • yachty

            Sorry……you are on point.

      • itry2brational

        “4. Banning circumcision[“takes away a person’s religious rights”]
        No it doesn’t. You don’t actually have a right to cut other people just because you want to. Universal human rights override religious and every person is owed bodily integrity. This is a major moral failing of circ apologists.

        “I respect that some don’t and as long as they don’t infringe on others more power to them”

        You don’t respect boys having their bodies infringed upon by others. Non-medically indicated circ performed on a boy is unquestionably both a human AND a religious rights violation: every boy has the right to conscience and to choose NOT to be permanently altered. Every human has the right to bodily integrity. No parent has the right to impose their religion by carving away part of their child’s body. More universally, No person has the right to impose their religion by carving away part of someone else’s body.

        • SporkParade

          If that’s true, then why do I know so many people who feel that the Soviet Union violated their religious rights by denying them the ability to be circumcised as infants? Or do you prioritize human rights solely according to your own personal prejudices?

          • itry2brational

            Says the person basing their argument on their own personal experience and prejudice. Irony.

          • SporkParade

            It’s not ironic. You’re the one arguing that other people’s cherished cultural traditions need to be wiped out of existence because they involve a benign modification of the human body that you personally find distasteful. Do you feel the same way about Australian aboriginal scarification? That tribe in the Amazon where boys become men after a ritual involving being bitten over and over by bullet ants? Or are you like those Europeans who can only be bothered to give a damn about animal rights when it means banning kosher and halal slaughter?

          • ” You’re the one arguing that other people’s cherished cultural traditions need to be wiped out of existence because they involve a benign modification of the human body that you personally find distasteful.”

            So, are you ok with the ritual nicking of girl’s clitoris(FGM WHO type IV), a procedure that is far less invasive than male circumcision? It is part of the cherished, cultural tradition of Malaysia. The rate is ~90% of women. Those poor families would find their religious freedom infringed upon in America.

            “In
            2015 ,” he said in his judgment, “the law generally, and family law in particular, is still prepared to tolerate non-therapeutic male circumcision performed for religious or even for purely cultural or
            conventional reasons, while no longer being willing to tolerate FGM in any of its forms.

            “Given the comparison between what is involved in male circumcision and FGMmWHO Type IV, to dispute that the more invasive procedure involves the
            significant harm involved in the less invasive procedure would seem almost irrational. In my judgment, if FGM Type IV amounts to
            significant harm, as in my judgment it does, then the same must be so of male circumcision.”

            -Judge Sir James Munby

        • Wombat

          I’ll just quote myself elsewhere here:

          “If it’s ok for religion though, why shouldn’t it be ok for anyone else to do “just because” either? You wouldn’t let someone abuse a child or cut off an arm because it’s part of their religion.

          I am not an intactivist and I don’t like the religious argument. The only reason it is ok is because I think the procedure is safe and not harmful. If someone doesn’t, I don’t see how they can bend to religion on it. But that one has always baffled me, tbh.”

          My point was SpeaksVolumes is severely misrepresenting the religious position. If you’re going to do that, just don’t bring it up. More than fine with that – I agree that bodily autonomy, medical procedures, and everything else can be settled without remotely involving religion, and are often better off to do so. But if you’re going to try to use a religious tentpole, you don’t get to invert it just because.

          Also, if you’re going straight to “unquestionably”, I’m not sure why you’re in a discussion format.

      • It is against my faith to be circumcised. Someone forced me to be circumcised. My religious freedom has been permanently violated by non-therapeutic, neonatal circumcision.

        • Wombat

          It’s against my faith to listen to you. Thus, I stop/don’t do so, not ban you.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Wow ! I’m so impressed by your bulletpoints ! must be true because it comes in bulletpoints.

      • Speaksvolumes

        I’m open to arguing each point. I didn’t want to leave a wall of text. So come at me.

      • Just like the WebMD bullet points that circumcision proponents frequently site? I’m sure the bullet points that support your previously held beliefs would be quite impressive to you.

      • Jhon Murdock

        Bite the bullet(s), Ms Retching.

    • yachty

      All your points are such BS!

  • Stephanie

    This is an elective surgery. I had my son done because I was told that foreskins were gross and dirty. I regret it immensely, but I am not going to beat myself self up over it. Unless there is a medical reason to do this procedure, insurance should not cover it. Doctors should not perform it on a minor without a medical reason. To me this is not about the degree and differences between male and female circumcision. The latter is a gross human rights violation for sure. This is about the right to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom. A male should be able decide if he wants to keep his foreskin or not. Not his parents or anyone else. There is no reason to cut off a healthy part of the body on a MINOR because it might reduce their risk of cancers or STDs. There is never a logical reason to cut off any healthy part period. Bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom are not just the purview of females. Males deserve to have control over their bodies as females. Any other stance is sexist and hypocritical. I was ignorant with my son and if I could go back and change it I would. I doubt it will be a major issue for him, but I will apologise profusely if it is. I was ignorant and did not know any better.

    • Wombat

      The problem with that is where’s the line between healthy and unhealthy? Uncomfortable? Painful? Gangrenous? “I’m sorry, the skin around the head of your penis isn’t quite rotting through yet, we need to wait”.

      Some parents circumcise on advice of a pediatrician. Is that enough, full stop, or does he or she have to give a good enough reason? It’s just really close to various other limits on otherwise perfectly acceptable medical procedures for moral reasons. It’s unfortunate that some children have problems or other issues come up that need to be or are much more ideally solved while they are still children, before they legally can consent, but the alternative is not to ignore everything until they’re 18.

      Also, for some people reducing the risk of cancer is absolutely, positively, a worthwhile enough health benefit for an optional piece of themselves. Preventative double mastectomies and such. If you knew your daughter had a 90%+ chance of getting breast cancer, and you could avoid that entirely with removal of her breast buds + reconstruction later in two very minimally invasive surgeries, some people would say you are wrong to -not- do so. We’re moving towards that becoming more of a reality, btw, so that might be a bit of an over the top hypothetical atm but it hardly will be for long. The circumcision argument is less cut and dry at the moment but again, where’s the line?

      • Valerie

        With regards to cancer- I tried to calculate the numbers once, and it looked like you were much better off cutting off an infant’s ears to reduce skin cancer (it’s common location for it) than his foreskin to reduce penile cancer. Nobody would advocate the former- we say “use sun screen,” “wear hats,” “check your moles,” etc, but somehow a small decrease in an already rare cancer is a justification to remove a foreskin (from an infant, who could get himself circumcised at any point in the intervening 60 years or so).

        My personal feelings about circumcision is that since it became widely adopted as an (ineffective) anti-masturbation measure and that theory of disease is no longer popular, the medical community tries really hard to come up with medical reasons to justify continuing to do it routinely (but really only in the US), while many parents choose to do it simply for cosmetic reasons (“to look like his dad”). Under no other circumstances do we cut off the completely normal, healthy, functional parts of infants (inflicting painful surgery and recovery, risking complications, infections) for a small probability of benefit. Heck, if FGM were safe, medicalized and practiced on infants, I’m sure somebody could find some correlative benefit at a p value of .05 (I’ve been editing grants all day). I mean, really, to prevent UTIs? The rate in males with foreskins is still less than that in females, who are treated by less extreme measures. To reduce STI transmission? Same pattern- males can reduce STIs the same way females can, by safer sex practices and vaccines (and I’d have to check, but I think it is still easier for a woman to get an STI during p-in-v intercourse than a man with a foreskin). The only thing left is problems of the foreskin, which can often be treated by less severe measures (eg, stretching, see http://phimosisjourney.wordpress.com), or just “good hygiene,” which pretty much means tell your son to try pulling it back in the bath/shower and rinse underneath when it’s comfortable to do so as he gets older.

        Although I support therapeutic circumcision on a child (it sometimes is the best answer), elective circumcision on anybody who makes the decision themselves, and I can imagine a religious significance, I really cannot wrap my head around why anybody else would want to circumcise their infant. I’m not in favor of banning it, because outlawing a medical procedure makes it harder for a person who may be suffering to get one, but I do think the information given to parents (and repeated by the general public) is very weirdly biased, with statements of potential benefits without any effect size (‘reduces UTI rate,’ leaving off ‘… starting from roughly half of that of a baby girl’s’). They also tend not to appreciate that foreskin serves any function at all (protective, sexual), and is the most sensitive part of he penis to fine touch. It seems to me like cutting off parts of baby’s genitals is a pretty extreme thing to do, which should require some pretty strong benefit (and yeah, I’d grant religious sacrament as a benefit, if that’s important to your family). It’s like we have in our heads that a foreskin is just a ticking time bomb that is going to explode and give your son and his partner HIV/cancer/UTIs/smegma/funny-looking-penis/HPV/intractable phimosis and it’s going to have to be removed anyway, so we might as well do it now before it’s too late. What is the actual lifetime risk of death/chronic pain by foreskin such that a circumcision is desired (by the penis’s owner)? There are whole countries that do not routinely circumcise and have rates under 1% (eg Japan, Iceland according to wikipedia), which is much less than the rates of breast cancer (something like 1 in 8 in the US)- maybe you are on to something with the breast buds.

        oof, wall of text. too much caffeine.

        • Wombat

          Breasts can be important and have a function too. Doesn’t mean people aren’t willing to happily get rid of them to try to avoid cancer.

          I’m not saying that circumcision should be as routine as it is, or even that it should be routine at all (I’ve said that multiple times throughout the comment thread, but unfortunately skipped it here). Merely that taking the option entirely off the table, or demonizing parents who take advantadge of it (especially on advice of a urologist) is wrong.

          My parents cut out part of my feet when I was only 13! It sure sounds evil that way, huh? They were functional enough (I could stand) and there were alternative, less invasive treatments (like orthotics, that were not working well enough for various reasons – just like stretching for many). Yet they took the advice of my pediatric ortho anyways. To hold circumcision to any other standard is wrong.

          And yes, the cancer argument may be weak at the moment. It may forever remain weak. But we underestimated a lot of women’s breast and ovarian cancer risks for a long long time. And besides, there was absolutely hyperbole there for a reason. At what point -can- you remove a non-essential part of your child? If intactivists want to legislate this (not saying you do, but some certainly do) they need to be able to answer that question.

          And while most of your post was quite reasonable, I’ll say that the difference between ears and a foreskin should be pretty clear to anyone considering the removal of either. More reduction in risk, maybe. Massively more harm, absolutely. You can’t play the numbers game in just one or the other.

          • Valerie

            I think we’re in violent agreement- the way you and your parents treated your feet is the same way I would treat the foreskin of my son (if I had one)- if there is a problem, get it checked out by a doc. Try the less painful/extreme treatments first. Do what needs to be done to maintain quality of life.

            I’m not suggesting anywhere that parents should let their children live in pain for their ideologies. I’m not demonizing/body-shaming anybody- I just really don’t understand why people do it to newborns- why it’s the “normal” thing, and why people perceive such a great benefit to it and don’t see it as extreme.

            And as for ears and foreskin- no, they aren’t the same, but I don’t see how it’s “massively more harm.” How so? The outer ear is largely cosmetic. Because it would look different to a casual observer? Because you have ears and can relate to them? I mean, I probably wouldn’t miss them if mine were removed at birth. You can still hear without outer ears, and besides, deaf people live lives just as full and complete as those who can hear. I’m being a bit silly- I mean, ask an intact man if he’d rather keep his ears or his foreskin, and I’d guess he’d say “ears,” but answers may vary. In any case, cutting off a parts of a person who cannot give consent decades before a tiny risk of cancer is not how cancer is treated or prevented under any other circumstance. It makes no sense to me that people use it as a justification.

          • Jhon Murdock

            Did your parents get a second opinion?

      • yachty

        Yet in Mexico, Central and South America, penile cancer makes up 1/3 of male cancers! The only families that circumcise there are the wealthy and Jewish families!

        • Daleth

          Um… no, it doesn’t. Penile cancer is extremely rare, on the order of 1/250,000, and there is no country on earth where it makes up anywhere near 1/3 of male cancers. Please go look up the statistics on a reputable website and get informed before posting again.

      • Jhon Murdock

        For a surgical procedure to be medical, there must be a medical reason for it. The medical reason(s) is always clearly stated in the diagnosis. No diagnosis, no disease, no surgery. That’s where you draw the line.

    • yachty

      Your son will thank you! My 7yo knows only the poor and minorities do not circumcise……He knows he is a cut above!

      • Empliau

        AAAND let’s all welcome our latest Poe.

  • Speaksvolumes

    To paraphrase the title:

    “The appalling spectacle of anti-FGM activists obsessing over the clitoris of another person’s daughter.”

    Hm.

    • Wombat

      The foreskin is the clitoral hood… something that, especially if done at birth (not at puberty as forced FGM is in many cultures) a girl could easily adapt to and do just fine/still have a pleasurable sex life. You’re comparing apples and oranges. The clitoris and labia (common forced FGM targets) would be more like removal of the glans and scrotum… something NO ONE is advocating without severely important medical reasons, and really not even then.

      • Speaksvolumes

        Would you support a change in the law surrounding FGM if only the clitoral hood of newborn baby girls was removed?

        Apart from the rare cases when this is performed for medical reasons, would you support it for religious or cosmetic reasons?

        • Wombat

          I guess you didn’t bother to read my other comment: I’m not insanely in love with routine circumcision as a matter of course or religion, but I am not ready to jump ship and completely remove the option – especially in the face of medical advice – either.

          Intactivists often/I’d even say mostly want the option wiped off the table entirely.

          And someone killing someone who threatened them can, amazingly, be either murder or self defense. No reason a hoodectomy can’t be ok in some cases and still FGM in others.

          • Speaksvolumes

            The UN recognizes several types of FGM, from a simple pin-prick to full clitoral excision. Yet all types are outlawed in the West. What is the difference between using a needle on an infant’s ear and using a needle on an infant’s clitoris?

          • Dr Kitty

            Clitoral piercings on consenting adults are legal in the US and UK.

            Cosmetic labiaplasty is legal in the US and UK, even though it can involve removing similar amounts of labial tissue as FGM.

            So…procedures very similar to some types of FGM are not outlawed.

            http://www.labiaplastysurgeon.com/articles/vulvar-plastic-surgery.html

          • Speaksvolumes

            “Consenting adults.”

            I also have no problem with consenting male adults choosing circumcision for themselves.

            Can we please stay on the topic of circumcision being performed on infants?

          • Wombat

            I’ll ask again: Should it be illegal to pierce the ears of an infant or toddler?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Yes, I think so.

            Now I’ll ask again – should it be legal to prick the clitoris of a newborn baby girl with a needle?

          • Wombat

            Have you ever posted on any posts about ear piercing outside of these few comments? Or are you focused on the penis, as the original post states?

            And it totally depends, as I’ve said more than once. A priest/iman/elder/etc doing it outside a medical arena in order to disfigure and enforce purity? Nope. To numb the area before a medical procedure? Sure! It’s amazing how the world isn’t black and white.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Am I required to post on everything I consider a human rights violation in order to advocate specifically for one? Who died and made you the arbiter of where I focus my attention?

            I think it’s disgusting that you support pricking a little baby girl’s clitoris with a needle, by the way. Thanks for admitting where you stand on that.

          • Who?

            So you don’t support giving baby girls local anaesthetic should it be medically indicated-which is what Wombat was proposing?

            Thanks for admitting where you stand on that.

          • Speaksvolumes

            * I edited my comment. I misread what he wrote.

          • Wombat

            If you’re against it to the point of making it a law, then yes. If you’re not against it to the point of making it a law, then don’t circumcise your son and move on.

            What’s not to get here?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Do you think it should be illegal to pierce the ears of an infant or toddler as a cosmetic or cultural practice?

          • Wombat

            So where are the intactivists banning ear piercing before 18 (or hell even 21, there’s evidence the brain isn’t actually done at 18)?

          • Speaksvolumes
          • Wombat

            Yay, 1 out of 100s. And yet intact america and the other, much larger and more organized groups constantly refuse to comment on in (in part because they’re FB based and you can see how many of their members often do pierce their children pre legal consent) despite bringing it into the argument by comparing circumcision to things like body modification.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Here’s #2:

            http://community.babycentre.co.uk/post/a24379497/piercing_babies_and_small_childrens_ears_should_be_illegal

            I mean – do you want me to keep posting links to orgs that support this cause? Because I can if you want.

            Look, you’re the one who brought up ear piercing and attempted to use it as a “gotcha!” against me. I’m opposed to it.

          • Wombat

            Man babycenter! They have threads on UC too, does that mean that’s now an accepted and supported, even laudable position?

            I didn’t attempt to use it as a “gotcha”, I made a comparison. You’re the one adding a narrative here (lol).

            The point is that the intactivists aren’t actually concerned with bodily autonomy of infants and children, they’re concerned with baby penises, for whatever reason, and willing to make any and all comparisons in order to make that work. Including to body piercing, despite refusing to address that as an additional issue of bodily autonomy.

        • Wombat

          Regardless, my main point was that comparing the clitoris to the foreskin in this context is laughably over the top, alarmist, and factually incorrect. Do you discount that?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Yes, I discount that. In both cases you are interfering with the genitals of infants by permanently altering their genitals without consent.

            A pressing medical need for a circumcision on a baby boy is the only ethical reason for conducting one. This is not the reason for routine infant circumcision in the U.S. and Canada.

          • Wombat

            Define ‘pressing medical need’ and then I will let you write that law. I never argued in favor of routine circumcision (as I have already shown you, more than once), and to imply I did is wrong.

            And the foreskin is not the clitoris, functionally or biological equivalent. To claim otherwise is ludicrous. If you can’t make your point without mis-stating the facts, perhaps there’s an issue with your point?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Pressing medical need like phimosis or anything that interferes with the normal functioning of the penis. Phimosis, by the way, rarely occurs in infants.

            The clitoris and the foreskin are both structures of the genitalia of human beings. I realize they are not the same; obviously because one is only present in females while the other is only present in males. They also serve different functions. However, they are both parts of the genitalia of human beings that are removed without consent from infants. One procedure is illegal; the other isn’t.

          • Wombat

            What about recurrent infections? Are tubes in ears wrong? They can often cause complications, and technically you can just treat the infection each and every time and/or change massive lifestyle factors. They even have some (minimal) medical debate! Uh oh everyone doesn’t agree, it must be wrong.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Again, if there is a pressing medical concern, then I am for the procedure. In the case of a recurrent infection there is a valid case.

            You cannot proactively remove healthy tissue because you assume the potential for recurrent infections. You might as well argue that all infants should have their appendixes removed because they *might* get infected.

          • Wombat

            Since a baby without an appendix would be just fine, with no real change in quality of life, you may not support doing it routinely but at the same time can you really say that a parent doing so is wrong (barring anesthesia issues, since those don’t apply with circumcision/it is perfectly possible to do under local anesthetic)? Sometimes an appendix is removed prematurely when the patient is already having another surgery (because unlike the foreskin, there’s a major access issue there). Is that mutilation? Morally reprehensible? Why not?

            How many infections is enough to be considered recurrent? My argument was originally “If you want to draw a line and stop this procedure, you’d better be damn ready to define the line to a suitable legal standard (since intactivists usually want to criminalize it to)”.

            If “medical issue” is a good enough reason, does just having your pediatrician say “It can cause issues, it’s not dangerous, it’s your choice” count? Why not? That’s what we do with lots and lots of other surgeries (hell most other surgeries are vastly more dangerous), and that’s the context that most ‘routine’ circumcisions are done under. And if that isn’t good enough, what exactly is? If it requires five infections, what if little Billy only had 4 but the 5th one might kill him because he had other medical concerns? Does the doctor need to go to court over that, really?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Yes! Of course it’s morally reprehensible to pre-emptively remove an organ from an infant’s body and place them at risk for complications or even death through surgery for the sake of a *potential*. If that wasn’t the case, why aren’t you arguing that at birth all babies should have their appendixes removed?

            How many infections? That’s something for a physician and the parents to decide. Note: in this case, there is already an existing condition i.e. recurrent infection. The child is not being circumcised in the anticipation of a *potential.*

            Most routine circumcisions are done for cosmetic reasons, religious reasons, and cultural reasons. The physician saying it “can cause issues” had better have a more convincing reason than that. The parents who would circumcise their baby boy on that statement alone have not done their due diligence in determining why they should permanently alter their baby’s genitalia on something so vague.

            What other ‘lots and lots’ of surgeries are you referring to that are performed at the same rate of circumcision that are done for the sake of potentialities to healthy tissue?

            Circumcision also is dangerous. Over 100 baby boys die each year as a result from circumcision and circumcision complications.

          • Wombat

            Again, I said “barring surgical/anesthesia issues” since the foreskin doesn’t have those. If the baby is -already having lifesaving abdominal surgery-, since I apparently need to spell this out, would a parent really be wrong to remove their appendix?

            I’m not arguing it because of surgical and anesthetic issues, obviously, as I already stated (more than once even).

            If it’s something for the physicians and the parents to decide, that is already the current framework. If you’re ok with the current framework but against circumcision, you just don’t circumcise your own children, and maybe share information. So clearly, that’s not enough. What. is.?

            What if the physician doesn’t have more of a reason , what happens to him? What happens to the parents? Fines? Jail? Kid taken away?

            Lots and lots of other surgery would be most other routine, non-emergent procedures that are done on the same basic advice of a pediatrician: These are the risks, these are the benefits, it’s your choice. That’s exactly “It can cause issues, it’s not dangerous, it’s your choice”. As I said most other procedures are more dangerous.

        • Wombat

          And to be fair, this comment wasn’t in the exact same thread, but it is only one up: Some parents circumcise on advice of a pediatrician. Is that enough, full stop, or does he or she have to give a ‘good enough reason’? It’s just really close to various other limits on otherwise perfectly acceptable medical procedures for moral reasons. It’s unfortunate that some children have problems or other issues come up that need to be or are much more ideally solved while they are still children, before they legally can consent, but the alternative is not to ignore everything until they’re 18.

          • Speaksvolumes

            You’re arguing that the field of medicine is some monolith that never evolves. Physicians used to think lobotomies were a good idea, too. The AMA is the only medical body in the western world that still recommends routine infant circumcision. That should tell you how the rest of the global medical community views it. The only doctor to testify in this trial said that the procedure was “medically unnecessary.” He also said that it prevents penile cancer and the spread of STIs. If you’re okay with removing healthy tissue from infants to prevent potential, not actual, complications or infections, then you are not arguing for the reason of medical necessity.

          • Wombat

            I’m actually arguing that a legitimate doctor knows more about what is good or not good for their patient than some stranger seeking to legislate a perfectly viable medical procedure being performed on someone else.

            I said nothing about time-travel and arm chair quarterbacking from the future with the benefit of decades of medical knowledge.

          • Speaksvolumes

            I’m not talking about time-travel either. Right now, the only medical body in the western world that supports routine infant circumcision is the AMA. The rest of global medical community is either neutral or does not recommend it. You’re discounting the majority held view of the international medical community.

            You’re against routine infant circumcision, right? So am I. So what are you arguing for? I’m also for circumcision in the case of a pressing medical need. The rate at which those cases occur is minimal and no where near justifies the rate at which circumcision is currently being performed.

          • Wombat

            You were talking about time travel with lobotomy. But if we can revise our post histories whenever we want in the face of evidence, mine is now ponies, unicorns (they’re different ok) and kittens. Yay!

          • Speaksvolumes

            No, I was talking about how medicine advances over time, both in knowledge and ethics. What was once considered an acceptable treatment for afflictions like depression are now regarded as barbaric.

          • Wombat

            Yes, and circumcision is only considered barbaric by those with an axe to grind, similar to abortion or other medical procedures that are acceptable to some and not others. So circumcision isn’t remotely comparable to lobotomy yet (I won’t say it never will be, because there’s absolutely no way to no that) therefore bringing it up is comparing it to armchair quarterbacking from the future.

            Medical knowledge evolves. We change our recommendations. Sure. The recommendations on circumcision have absolutely changed over the years. Just because you and some other laypeople think they haven’t changed enough does not invalidate them.

            Medical organizations also disagree usually on a lower level, matter of degrees type argument. Again, laypeople should not be the deciding factor in which one we ultimately go with.

          • Speaksvolumes

            We’re already at the stage where circ is being questioned as ethically unsound and medically unnecessary in almost all cases. That’s how something is eventually regarded as barbaric; people questioning the practice. It’s not just laypeople questioning or discouraging the practice; it’s medical professionals, including the majority of the international medical community.

          • Wombat

            Two of the biggest medical bodies in the country who’s rate you have an issue with != almost all cases.

          • Wombat

            We’re arguing because A. you think FGM and circumcision are equal, full stop. B. you’re advocating medical regulation in the face of medical advice, and while you personally may not be against circumcision entirely, you’re certainly siding with people who are.

            I can have a problem with the factual basis of your statements without disagreeing with you entirely. Again, it’s crazy how the world isn’t Black and White!

          • Speaksvolumes

            I think FGM and male circumcision are equal in kind, not in degree.

            Cutting off a hand is worse than cutting off a finger, but they are both still mutilations.

          • Wombat

            Except you’re comparing cutting off a hand because you stole a goat to cutting off a finger because it’s broken, bent, not responding to other treatments and you’re better off without it at that point.

            Sure those are similar in some ways, but it requires a lot of eye covering and ear plugging to make the comparison work.

            It’s also kind of insulting to the dude who lost his hand over the goat.

          • Speaksvolumes

            What are you talking about? A goat?

            I’m making a comparison. You’re adding a narrative to it for some reason.

            It requires no eye covering or ear plugging. Cutting off body parts is mutilation. There are differences in degrees, but they are all still mutilations. If you are cutting off healthy body parts without someone’s consent, for a medically unnecessary reason, you are violating them.

          • Wombat

            Let’s talk about the AMA too. The only thing I can find, even searching intactivist sources, is that they voted against (procedural/philosophical vote, btw) a CA ballot initiative banning circumcision and punishing doctors who perform them. They also repost/cite the AAP findings on circumcision, so perhaps that’s what you mean? And while stopping short of recommending it as a routine procedure, the AAP does strongly support access to circumcision, including financially through health insurance. They also find benefit in it.

            So the AMA is hardly the only organization ok with circumcision. In fact, it looks like some of the biggest medical organizations in the US are ok with it. Are they all wrong? Do we stop listening to them on anything else since they’re ~obviously swayed by non-medical facts in this case (if that was actually true we’d better!)~.

          • Speaksvolumes

            This is the AMA’s stated position:

            “The American Medical Association (2013) states, “There is strong evidence documenting the health benefits of male circumcision, and it is a low-risk procedure, said Peter W. Carmel, M.D., AMA president. “Today the AMA again made it clear that it will oppose any attempts to intrude into legitimate medical practice and the informed choices of patients.”

            “The AMA supports the general principles of the 2012 Circumcision Policy Statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which reads as follows: “valuation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks; furthermore, the benefits of newborn male circumcision justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits from male circumcision were identified for the prevention of urinary tract infections, acquisition of HIV, transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, and penile cancer. Male circumcision does not appear to adversely affect penile sexual function/sensitivity or sexual satisfaction”

            Why did you ignore the part where I pointed out that the international medical community is either neutral or does not reccommend the practice?

          • Wombat

            Why did you ignore the part where that’s exactly what I described the AMA/AAP recommendation as?

            Since you’re reducing these comments to just repeating your questions over and over while ignoring mine, two can play that game!

    • Wombat

      Also, clitoral hoodectomys are sometimes done for medical reasons, such as tightness or (in adults) reduced sexual stimulation. Would a parent be wrong to elect to remove or reduce their daughter’s clitoral hood because it was causing pain or interfering with urination – on advice of a doctor – rather than trying stretching that may be extremely uncomfortable and may or may not work, or even just waiting and seeing?

      They can also be part of a vaginal rejuvenation, but as an elective surgery for at least surface level consenting adults, that’s a separate conversation.

      Edit: And just for the record, while my personal views on circumcision really don’t actually matter, I will put them out there to avoid the inevitable “you just want to justify mutilating your kid” type replies: I don’t have kids yet. I’m not insanely in love with routine circumcision as a matter of course or religion, but I am not ready to jump ship and completely remove the option – especially in the face of medical advice – either. I am legitimately unsure of what I will do for my own child(ren) should I have a boy. Most likely medical advice + input of daddy, but I cannot say that 100%.

  • Ardea

    WHERE CAN I OBTAIN GUMMY PENISES????

  • Robert Howard

    This article is so far off the mark on so many points it’s barely worth reading. Of course it’s the only body part with organizations out to protect it, because it’s the only one we routinely cut off for no reason! (BTW, I’d say the clitoris/labia is right up there in countries where they’re regularly removed)

    “it would probably come as a shock to our visitor to learn that circumcision is a religious, cosmetic and medical decision with essentially no impact beyond the benefit of reducing the risk of transmission of serious sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.”

    Thank god you no longer practice medicine because you have no clue what you’re talking about. No impact? It completely changes the mechanics of sex, causes meatal stenosis in nearly 10% of circumcised boys, removes thousands of fine-touch nerve endings, exposes the glans to a life of desensitization, results in 4.5 times the rate of ED. And if it’s so good at preventing STDs, why is it that the circumcision happy U.S. has far higher rates of virtually every single one over European countries where circumcision is virtually unheard of?

    As for Chase’s Guardians, I think it points more to the fact they didn’t want to talk to the guy because he apparently made an unfavorable article about intactivists. Why would they want to do an interview with someone who is obviously against their cause?

    And please remove all references to medical need in this story – the lone doctor to testify at the trial said there is NO medical need, and he would not do it to his own son at this age.

    • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

      Who are you to say Dr. Amy should remove all references to medical need from her article? She is a doctor and is qualified to give medical advice and her opinion on medical matters. Circumcision has been proven to prevent the spread of STIs and HIV, as well as proven hygiene benefits and for some men it is a medically necessary procedure. This whole movement is ridiculous and the time spent arguing and promoting circumcision as genital mutilation is ridiculous.You should should also post a reference to your stats about “nearly 10% meatal stenois” because I can’t find any legitimate research or stats on that number. The one point I do agree with is at this point, if it was my son I wouldn’t circumcise him at the age of 4 almost 5 either, because surgery is traumatic and painful

      • Robert Howard

        Because the only doctor to testify at the trial said there was no medical need. Therefore, there was no medical need. Duh.

        • momofone

          I must admit I was on the fence, until I read your cogent and well-worded argument, “Duh.” How could one resist that kind of sound reasoning?

        • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

          This whole case is about two stupid people who are ruining their child’s life to spite each other and people like you contribute to this poor child’s suffering. There can be medical needs for circumcision and likewise, no medical need for circumcision. Do you know if this doctor examined the child or just stated that most circumcisions are not performed based on medical need? No, you don’t. You should probably waste your time on a site where people are going to believe this intactivist garble. no person involved in this case has ever considered the child, that is a fact. Just because something is stated does not give it credence.

      • Robert Howard
        • Megan

          So one study of just over 300 boys showed an incidence of around 7% in your citation. That hardly equates to a rate of 10% across the board. Here is a study of over 1.4 million circumcisions showing a total adverse event rate of less than 0.5%.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24820907/?i=8&from=male%20circumcision%20std

          I’m inclined to trust a study with an n=<1.4 million than one with just over 300 confined to one pediatric practice in rural Wisconsin (meaning the same doc or the same few docs did all of these circs).

          • Megan

            *n= >1.4 million

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, I would say that the true number is nowhere near 7.5 %. In my 15 years of practice, I have NEVER had a boy that has needed a meatal revision.

          • Megan

            Me either. Never once. You’d think if one in ten boys was having this complicating one of us would’ve seen it, no?

          • Megan

            *Complication. Aargh! I hate autocorrect!

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I agree. I have about 1000 adult male patients, and I can’t recall a single one giving me a history of having needed a surgery to correct a complication of circumcision.

            I will say I’ve had 3 patients that needed to be circumcised as adults. One for BXO, one for an early squamous cell carcinoma of the penis, and one who was paralyzed and having difficulty self-cathing because of his foreskin.

          • Robert Howard

            Was meatal stenosis measured? It’s generally not counted as a complication because it doesn’t present immediately.

          • Robert Howard

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3749823

            Another small study, but over 10%.

          • fiftyfifty1

            LOL. Did you read even the abstract? This study is not done in infants but rather follows boys who were circed as children because they *already had problems*. It occurred in Sweden, one of the magical lands where boys supposedly never need circs because circs are never needed. Yet the study had no trouble finding 117 boys in just one year, in just one hospital, who did need circs ( for all the problems that I have written about upthread that all the intactivist commenters doubted were real issues). Of these boys (boys who had suffered urinary retention with ballooning, recurrent flesh infections of the penis and chronic scarring phimosis among other problems), some them had problems after surgery such as need to go back and stretch the urinary opening.

            The study also looked for possible psychological scarring due to the procedure but failed to find any. The conclusion of the study was this:

            “There seems to be no reason to fear psychological disturbances due to circumcision.”

            Thanks for the link Robert!

          • Megan

            That’s exactly what I was going to say: the complication rate for circs done in response to a problem is bound to be higher by virtue of the fact that there were problems, some that leave scarring or adhesions themselves, and the fact that the population would be older. Even the study I cited showed a complication rate 10- to 20-fold higher in older boys. But that is not the same as routine circumcision because older boys usually get circs for a problem.

          • Megan

            From the abstract:

            “Rates of potentially serious MC AEs ranged from 0.76 (95% CI, 0.10-5.43) per million MCs for stricture of male genital organs to 703.23 (95% CI, 659.22-750.18) per million MCs for repair of incomplete circumcision.”

            Stricture of male genital organs ought to include meatal stenosis (and only 0.76 per million!)

            And though I’m sure you’ll discount our experiences, as we said below, fiftyfifty1 and I have yet to see meatal revision needed in our 23 years of combined experience as physicians. I haven’t even seen a case of meatal stenosis once and I practice in America where circumcision is very common. Surely if as many as one in ten had this complication we would’ve seen it, don’t you think?

          • Megan

            And just a funny aside, autocorrect tried to change meatal stenosis to “meatball stenosis” which I found humorous. No sometimes feel like my phone is out to make me look really silly!

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      You know I always see the mechanics of sex argument and I really don’t see where it’s coming from. As far as I can tell, circumsiced men still enjoy sex immensely. My husband does. I make sure he does. Because there are other ways to please and tease that don’t involve all attention on the penis the entire time.

      I get the feeling sometimes that this loud blaring of it causing sexual issues is just a mask for the real reason which is that maybe they or their partner is just really bad at sex.

      Oh but the foreskin can massage the clitoris and gives more pleasure! Dude, I’m going to need more than a piece of loose skin rubbing against me to get me off. Be a big boy and put your fingers down there. Be attentive and responsive to her. You can do things with your fingers that you could never do with your penis. Unless you have a bionic vibrator penis but we’re not supposed to alter the sacred peen, right?

      Seriously. Fingers. Use them. if more women knew what band geeks can do with their fingers, there would not be a single guy, lesbian, or bisexual going without a girlfriend and sex. Because damn they have some dexterity!

      Penis in vagina is not going to be satisfying enough for a majority of women and don’t start spouting bullshit about how vaginal orgasms are mature orgasms and therefore better. That’s Freudian theory that’s been tossed out a lot time ago.

      Female pleasure in sex does NOT have to come from the penis. The fact that you’re so focused on the penis during sex regardless leads me to believe that a lot of these men aren’t exactly attentive lovers. It goes back to that sex is penis in vagina and what gives a woman pleasure isn’t sex, it’s “foreplay” and it’s an obligation to get out of the way as soon as possible to get to the “real” sex. As long as this attitude persists, the mainstay joke of comedians about the elusive female orgasm will continue to thrive. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s pretty damn sad. I seriously feel bad for the women I know that think orgasming one out of every five to ten sexual encounters is normal while the man orgasms every time. We still have a LONG way to go.

      • Cobalt

        In my personal experience, there is NO perceivable difference in sexual function, performance, or pleasure between circumcised and uncircumcised partners. None.

        • Roadstergal

          I have identified many studies that confirm that personal experience, which also matches mine.

          What’s funny is that I used to be more ‘meh’ about circumcision – not a big deal to me. The intactivists kept yelling at me to do some research, and the more I did, the more I found myself trending towards preferring it. The difference in risk to me might not be big, but it isn’t nil, and as you say – no negative effects on sex.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I am actually rather neutral on the matter most of the time. However when the intactivist start Operation Overlording into threads they weren’t invited to and start spouting their twisted statistics and making demands I crawl out from under my bridge.

        • Valerie

          For the male sexual experience, foreskin makes a difference. I didn’t know this until I talked to men (not intactivists, but people I know in RL) who were circumcised as adults, who are really the only kind of people who have experienced both. Masturbation was now like “squeezing a hotdog”- what used to feel good didn’t work. Even after months of recovery, the sensations of sex were just different and not as pleasurable. I understand this isn’t everybody’s experience and therapeutic (or cosmetic, religious, etc) circumcision has it’s place, but it annoys me that people claim that circumcised and unaltered penises function identically and feel the same to their owners- that foreskin is inconsequential except for it’s potential risks. It does have sexual functions, but ones people won’t know to miss if they had their foreskins removed at birth.

          • Wren

            Don’t you think there might be a difference between the effects of removal as an adult and removal as an infant?

          • It’s one of the reasons I’m an only child. My father was not circumcised as an infant, and had phimosis. He married my mother in 1937, but they were unable to have full intercourse because of the severe pain erection caused. For 5 years they suffered in silence. In that era it was deeply shameful to discuss sexual problems, and, to be frank, both my parents were rather ignorant of what sexual experience ought to encompass. Finally they consulted a doctor for a fertility workup. He discovered the problem while attempting to get a sperm sample from my father. Shortly thereafter Father underwent circumcision, but it was traumatic enough that he then became impotent. In 1943 he was drafted, and spent the war years in China. When he came home he and my mother finally had a completely normal sexual relationship at last, but, since Mother was now slightly over 40, she had little hope that she’d get pregnant. I was born in1946; Mother began the menopause when I was three.

            So sad; such a waste of such a large part of their adult lives.

          • Kelly

            My husband works with a lot of older men in the medical field and said he has seen a lot of men who were not circumcised and were not cleaned properly had a lot of problems with it adhering to the penis. While it does not happen to all, it is another point in a reason to do it.

          • deafgimp

            If not cleaning is causing adhesions, wouldn’t the obvious solution be more cleaning, and education about cleaning rather than straight to circumcision?

          • Cobalt

            Depends on the individual. If someone produces enough smegma that they’re needing to shower twice a day to stay clean and prevent complications, they might well prefer a permanent solution. Individual tolerances and preferences vary widely.

          • Wren

            I’m not sure not cleaning properly is a reason to circumcise any more than not brushing properly is a reason to pull all teeth and replace with dentures.

          • Cobalt

            Not being able to easily clean them properly is a reason to pull wisdom teeth, preferably before they deteriorate.

          • Wren

            Easily clean properly isn’t the same as clean properly. In most cases, a penis is accessible, while wisdom teeth may not be.

            I do have a few friends in the US who have had doctors try to retract the foreskin on infant or toddler boys to check all was ok, which really is a problem. (For those who may not know, the foreskin generally does not retract at that age and forcing it can cause problems.) There are still areas where lack of knowledge, including cleaning properly, may be an actual issue.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I can’t tell with 100% certainty from the original post but if they’re referring to men in like skilled nursing or hospice I could see it being an issue.

            A lot of things in more intimate areas like bed sores, scrotal skin infections, anal fissures, vaginal infections and so on might go on for a while before someone catches it for a lot of reasons. Sometimes, especially in dementia wards, patients get physically combative if they try to do something they don’t want, like lift up the gown to take a peek underneath to make sure everything’s okay under there. The patient is more likely to get hurt than the nursing staff so they may try asking about any issues down there and they may say no. But with dementia or Alzheimer’s that answer will always be suspect.

            Then the weird smells start and it’s off to the doctor and the wound clinic and the questions of “Holy hell, how did THAT happen?”

            Sometimes its outright neglect and sometimes the patient doesn’t ever bring it up.

            Not in support of routinely circumcising adult men in hospice or skilled nursing facilitiesfacilities or anything like that but I can see how those types of injuries could happen.

            More often though it’s scrotal issues and not penis in my anedcdotal and small sample size experience having to register the wound clinic accounts.

          • Valerie

            How could we ever determine that? I mean… you could do something like scan brains during sexual stimulation of men before and after non-therapeutic circumcisions and compare that to men who were circumcised at birth to see if their brains adapted to look like men before circumcision. Not sure anybody has ever tried something like this.

            My understanding (which isn’t first hand) of the biggest differences is that men with foreskins tend to glide the skin back and forth vs rub and the sensitivity of the glans is higher when it’s protected in a foreskin. These things probably aren’t different based on when the circumcision took place.

            But yeah, you can’t really miss what you don’t remember having.

          • Wombat

            This is a good reason to counsel men who are looking at adult circumcision (and they already do, a lot). But there is something to be said for what you don’t know won’t hurt you, as childish as that sounds summed up that way. Someone who has been circumcised since birth knows how to get pleasure and masturbate just fine with what they have. Especially if the circumcision was done for a medical reason, not just cosmetic or religious, that would be more than acceptable outcome in other cases of infant and childhood surgeries. Why shouldn’t it be here?

            And to be more glib: a young adult might think their vestigial tail is really really cool. They might even find use for it. It’s not dangerous, and doesn’t cause harm if you’re careful, avoid certain activities, and take care of it properly (otherwise, it can be really easy to get infected or cause other issues). Why -aren’t- parents wrong for deciding to remove it? It might seem silly, but the logic has to go both ways, or you’re just fixated on the penis, imo. And just for the record I say that as someone who’s not crazy about routine circumcision but doesn’t like removing the option, especially against medical advice either. I have no idea what I will do for my own child(ren) yet, if I do have a boy. Most likely doctor’s advice with fiance’s input, but I can’t at all say for sure.

          • Valerie

            We exchanged some comments earlier, but I realized I didn’t hit send on this one:

            >But there is something to be said for what you don’t know won’t hurt you…

            Yes, but the same can be said to justify truly horrible things (eg. sexual abuse when a child is too young to remember). We must have another standard for what is acceptable to do to children, because this does not help us differentiate.

            >Especially if the circumcision was done for a medical reason, not just cosmetic or religious, that would be more than acceptable outcome in other cases of infant and childhood surgeries. Why shouldn’t it be here?

            Scars are acceptable outcomes of therapies, but giving a child a scar on purpose wouldn’t be. If a child has a tragic accident where a limb is crushed beyond repair, amputation is a life-saving surgery. But of course it is not OK to perform an amputation on a healthy infant. The fact that something is suitable to live with in cases of necessity does not validate doing it on purpose.

            >Why -aren’t- parents wrong for deciding to remove it?

            I think most intactivists would be against strictly cosmetic surgery- the whole “bodily autonomy” thing is part of the ideology. If it’s something can be left alone and isn’t causing a problem, why bother going through a painful surgery and recovery, risking infection and side effects, etc? I’m guessing vestigial tails can cause physical problems with posture, sitting, etc, but I don’t know. I think people talk more about circumcision because it happens so often in the US. Vestigial tails are rare.

            >or you’re just fixated on the penis, imo

            Basically, yeah the cause of “intactivists” is the genitalia of infants, and those who are most at risk of modification are baby boys (and intersex). But they didn’t start it- it’s reactionary to the promotion of circumcisions for every male child. I mean, I don’t think a person vocally against routine circumcision is any more fixated on the penis than those who gather the whole family together to watch the ritualistic removal of the foreskin of an infant.

            … but yeah, we seem to agree on most things. I’m not for banning infant circumcision, but I don’t understand why people do it, and I think the post-hoc justifications are pretty bogus. I understand it’s part of a religious/ethnic identity (I don’t personally have one) for some people, which I can appreciate (I support religious liberty), but beyond that, the medical arguments seem totally insufficient to me to justify doing it routinely.

          • Wombat

            If it’s ok for religion though, why shouldn’t it be ok for anyone else to do “just because” either? You wouldn’t let someone abuse a child or cut off an arm because it’s part of their religion.

            I am not an intactivist and I don’t like the religious argument. The only reason it is ok is because I think the procedure is safe and not harmful. If someone doesn’t, I don’t see how they can bend to religion on it. But that one has always baffled me, tbh.

            And I am sorry, but I really have a hard time believing that any intactivist would keep their kids vestigial tail. Because their OB/Pediatrician would advise removing it (why not, it’s safe and easy and avoids issues) and they don’t tend to question medical judgement outside of their specific area of ‘expertise’.

            The scars/outcome of surgery was in reference to medically advised circumcision mostly, as stated – something a lot of intactivists want rid of or severely regulated. But even if it was cosmetic, so? Most of the actual cleft palate repair is internal. We fix the kids face so they won’t be a target. Ear pinning is a thing, with about the same recovery and risk of circumcision. Where are the intactivists out their raging against that? They may be reactionary on circumcision, but that’s no reason not to be reactionary on other issues of bodily autonomy of infants and children, if that’s actually what they’re really concerned about. I question that it is their sole motivation, in the slightest.

            As for what you don’t know won’t hurt you, we disagree on circumcision being a truly horrible thing. A medical procedure done by a doctor (I’m not for mohels at all) isn’t remotely comparable to child abuse.

            But as you said, we agree on a lot and I’m perfectly ok with leaving it at that.

          • Valerie

            I’m not keen on justifying things by religion either. I mean, there were recently those stories in New York of children contracting herpes encephalitis from a mohel performing the oral part of the circumcision, and I think that’s awfully tragic. There have also been several deaths of children of Christian Scientists. We’re pretty liberal with what we allow people to do to their children in the name of religious liberty in America. However, a lot of religious people see attacks on circumcision as attacks on faith, regardless of what their faith is. I’ve seen people respond to any criticism of circumcision as intolerant to Judaism. I don’t see it as an incorrect argument- that religion isn’t a great justification to anything that we wouldn’t allow otherwise- but it is a more polarizing argument and one that is less likely to be heard. I’m more willing to grant that circ serves a religious purpose- one that I am unable understand because I am not a spiritual person. Also, frankly, antisemitism real, with a pretty horrific history, and I’d hate to add to legit feelings of persecution by advocating to take away part of their identity. I do see harm in that.

            … Otherwise, I guess we mostly just disagree on what intactivists think, which is really an empirical question neither of us can answer.

            Peace.

          • Cobalt

            Excluding circumcisions done when there were already problems with function, is the sensation really poorer or just different? Having to change your “go to” masturbation techniques (for any reason) is difficult, especially if you’ve spent a few decades in a particular groove. Men circumcised as infants learn methods not involving foreskin from the beginning, it would probably be just as difficult for them to suddenly have a flap to deal with.

            The major functions are identical. The finer details may not be identical, but are equal overall (in the absence of disorder-and there are more disorders associated with foreskin than with its removal and absence).

          • Valerie

            I’m female and do not have any personal experience with this- I can only report what I’ve heard, and they definitely said “better” not just “different” with foreskin, and the adjustment was pretty major. There are biological reasons why this may be the case- for example, results may vary, but the glans becomes less sensitive due to constant exposure. Also, the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis to fine-touch. I would be quite displeased if something happened to make my genitals permanently desensitized, as well. I’m not sure what you mean by “major functions”- if it’s just a tube for urination and ejaculation, sure, but if you consider pleasure sensation a role (which I do), that judgement is purely subjective. Some men are quite happy with their circs, therapeutic or not, especially if it’s solving painful problem. Some men might not feel desensitized or might prefer to be able to “last longer.” Some men regret having a circ- maybe I have a biased sample.

            In any case, I don’t think it’s correct to make value comparisons about sex with and without a foreskin unless you are speaking about yourself. I hear this both from the side of “intactivists,” who sometimes use body-shaming and inflammatory language (“mutilated”) to say intact sex is better, and from pro-circ advocates, who tend to trivialize the role of foreskin in male sexual experience to say it’s all the same. It’s not important to everybody, but it is critical for some individuals, and I don’t like how it’s dismissed.

        • Wren

          As with most things, YMMV. Personally, I’ve found some difference between circumcised and uncircumcised with regards to sex, but the differences between partners is greater than the differences between circ’d and uncirc’d.

      • Robert Howard

        Your experience and claims are irrelevant. The mechanics of sex are changed by the removal of the foreskin. It’s fact.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Ah yes. A nuanced and well worded reply! Bravo! And oh pardon me I had forgotten my place. No matter what I say, papers I post, or anecdotes I tell they are irrelevant because I don’t have a penis. People without penises aren’t important in the world. Unless they’re suddenly useful to the penis crusade and then their issues are paraded about. But their issues still not as bad as what happens to penises. They’re only useful for highlighting the -real- issue. My mistake.

          • Robert Howard

            Not even close to what I said. It’s a fact that the mobile skin system of the penis is removed. The mechanics of sex are indeed changed. Did I claim that in your experience, there was no problem getting a man off? No, I said the mechanics of sex were changed and they are.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            The rest of your replies, especially regarding FGM and using it as a tool for your argument and nothing more, speaks volumes on your feelings about women I assure you.

          • Robert Howard

            No, you just read into it what you want to.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Imagine that! Not that I see anyone else here who would do such a thing.

            The lack of self awareness is -astounding-.

          • Wombat

            So different sex isn’t sex at all? Fuck anyone not born your version of ‘normal’, huh? You have to have sex with your hands and mouth because you’re paralyzed and it feels best that way? POOR YOU, regardless of how you feel about it.

            Sorry, but heard this weak, fake-caring rationale all too many times before.

          • Robert Howard

            Try reading for comprehension. I said none of those things.

          • Wombat

            You said that the mechanics of sex are changed, and framed that as a negative. So anyone who’s mechanics are different is automatically at a disadvantage in your view.

            It may not be what you thought you meant, but it is in fact exactly what you said.

      • AllieFoyle

        Why can’t men have an opinion on their own bodies without it being sexism? I don’t get it.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          They can. They often do. I’d be surprised if they didn’t think about their bodies a lot especially from a fitness standpoint because women don’t have a monopoly on the body image issue. Men are held up to looking like extras in 300 and those men had ab definition airbrushed on. It’s not attainable for the average body. A lot of men have self esteem issues related to their appearance too. It really sucks and I think it’d be great if men were more vocal about it because I agree and support them in that fight. They don’t need to be an accessory to the female campaign against digital retouching to unattainable standards because while the techniques are similar in editing they are not the same. Their issue is complimentary to the female issue and I wouldn’t dare step in and tell them what to think about the issue or use it to further my own agenda. I wouldn’t tell a man that he’s being hurt by the male models on magazines and when he says “Not really” start screaming about how wrong he is and he just doesn’t know he’s a victim so shut up and support my views. It’s dismissive and disrespectful.

          But intactivists throw out any and all research or anecdotes from other men that don’t agree with the narrative they’re trying to tell. Telling other men to shut up about being happy with their body image including their circumcised penis because they don’t know they’re victims doesn’t really do much to help end the body shaming issues present in the world. Or to have men feel that their opinions are being validated.

      • Katie Jenkins McCall

        Anecdotal. Sorry. Your logical fallacy is fallible.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Like your belief that you’re not causing or have caused severe harm to women who put their trust in you to deliver their precious children safely?

        • Speaksvolumes

          Her reasoning: It doesn’t matter if a man loses the full spectrum of sensation on his penis because sex is all about female pleasure.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yes. That is exactly what I’m saying. It’s not like we have a cultural meme about the elusive female orgasm or anything like that. Mutual pleasure is apparently being focused only on female pleasure

      • You’re a dumb, selfish bitch who thinks the issue is about YOU. It’s not about YOU, dumb bitch. It’s about MEN deserving to keep 100% of our penises and experience all the pleasure nature intended!

        • fiftyfifty1

          Ah, another reasonable, rational intactivist.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Yup. I’m a dumb selfish bitch because I think women deserve pleasure too. For pointing out pounding at the vagina and focusing only on the penis doesn’t really satisfy women. Stuff that might actually please a woman if you dared try it.

          Don’t forget to shame me for not telling my husband that he’s a mutilated freak that will never experience sex like he’s supposed to. That I love every bit of him, even the parts he hates. For seeing him as something more than his sexual organs and married him for his intelligence and personality. The fact that he’s a very considerate lover was just the cherry on top of an already confident, kind man with fantastic wit.

          I didn’t circumcize him. He doesn’t care that he is and I don’t either. I accept him and would accept him cut or uncut or disabled. I chose a man, a very good one, not a strip of flesh.

          So please continue to call me a selfish bitch for not considering my husband’s foreskin to be the most important part of him and singing his praises as a lover despite his “disability” in lovemaking.

    • Megan

      “CONCLUSION: The highest-quality studies suggest that medical male circumcision has no adverse effect on sexual function, sensitivity, sexual sensation, or satisfaction.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23937309/?i=8&from=male%20circumcision%20sexual%20satisfaction

      “CONCLUSIONS: Based on the present study which represents the largest survey worldwide on male ED using the IIEF as a validated instrument, it could not be confirmed that the prevalence of ED is increased in men following circumcision. Sexual satisfaction of men in this study was independent of the presence of the prepuce.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23361453/?i=11&from=male%20circumcision%20sexual%20satisfaction

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Also they keep touting that x thousand of fine touch pressure nerves. I decided to do some research on that. They’re called Meissner’s corpuscles.

        You know what else has a huge amount of those Meissner’s corpuscles? Finger tips. It’s the type of nerve ending that allows us to differentiate fine details like the raised dots used for Braille.

        Maybe the foreskins does have a lot of those. But so does my big toe and it’s not especially arousing when that’s touched.

        Arousal seems to have a large mental component and not just mechanical it seems. Shock of all shocks.

        • Speaksvolumes

          But you acknowledge that Meissner’s corpuscles are highly sensitive. The mental component to arousal working in tandem with highly sensitive tissue results in pleasure. Why would you want to remove that potential sensation for pleasure from someone’s genitalia?

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            A highly aroused state still doesn’t make someone touching my big toe sexy and pleasurable.

            There’s also that there are seven different kinds of receptors in skin that relay touch. Depending on the person there’s more or less of the different types.

            If every guy wanted the kind of sensitivity intativists put on a pedistal there wouldn’t be a market for those sensitivity dulling gels.

            Because while we have certain commonalities not everyone is the same. The intactivist tactic of ignoring everything that doesn’t fit their ideal is ridiculous. How many people have said they or their partners don’t feel a difference and frankly don’t care what was or was not done to them as an infant? And then because it doesn’t fit your victim narrative it is “irrelevant.”

            Instead of trying to fit everyone in the same box why not celebrate the diversity that makes humans so adaptable? Take some advice from the Beatles and “Let It Be.”

          • Speaksvolumes

            There’s plenty of people who get off sexually on having their toes sucked. The penis is specifically an erogenous zone. The touch receptors on the penis are directly linked to sexual arousal and pleasure, including the foreskin.
            Not every guy wants the kind of sensitivity of being intact. That’s a perfect argument for why sexually active adult men can choose for themselves to get circumcised. It’s also a good argument for producing gels to dull sensation. It’s not an argument to remove the foreskin from infants.
            Men who are cut are free to feel however they want about what was done to them. What they can’t do is use their opinion as justification for imposing the same procedure onto others.
            It’s ironic you cite “Let It Be” while arguing for the right to cut off foreskins.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            …you’re still commenting on this? I practically forgot this was here days ago. Go find another place to play.

            You really haven’t figured out my modus operandi with you guys yet, have you? Let me help you.

            Clip clop, clip clop, who’s that clip clopping across my bridge?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Wow. Total failure at a cogent rebuttal. Nice job proving you don’t have a valid argument. I didn’t realize there was a time limit on responding here. Taking a few days between responses doesn’t seem excessive to me, but it’s nice to know that that’s your go to trump card to avoid an actual response. Well done.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Aaaaaaand point. You’re missing it. It was fun to troll you guys for a while but now it’s just boring and I moved on. Hope your flounce sticks.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Oh, so you’re a troll. Okay.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Jeeze, finally.

            I admit I like to troll intactivists when they come parachuting in spouting bullshit. Or anyone else spreading poorly researched and twisted “facts”. Anti-vaxxers, home birthers, hardcore lactivists, doesn’t matter. I may only have a passing interest in the subject on some of these, like intactivism, but it’s worth pretending to be hard core against them just to see you guys blow up. You honestly take this shit that seriously that you throw temper tantrums online about it?

            Why not go volunteer somewhere to spread awareness instead of spewing vitrol all over the internet? I hate animal abuse and that elders in retirement homes get ignored. So I’m training my rescued shelter dog to get her canine good citizen award so I can take her to the homes and cheer up a lonely senior’s day. What are you doing besides acting like the giant dick you revere?

            I’ve been on the internet a long, long time. My patience for people like intactivist was shot before I even got my driver’s license.

            If you insist on showing up on territory that is obviously hostile to your ideology, don’t go crying about oppression when you do the same to people who show up in your neck of the woods saying circumcision has a purpose.

            Hypocrisy appears to be a defining trait of the intactivist movement.

            And yeah I’m a hypocritical bitch at times. I have no illusions of being well loved online. At least I have the self awareness to admit it.

            Edit: Also fighting back against this stuff is a stupidly fun game of mental gymnastics. I’m not even pro routine circ.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Cool story bro.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Old trolling meme is old.

          • Speaksvolumes

            Yep, well, you’re certainly a bitch.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Your feelings appear to be a bit overly sensitive. Perhaps, according to your logic, they should be circumcised?

          • Speaksvolumes

            Nah, I’m just agreeing with your earlier self-evaluation.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Hey we can agree on something! There is hope for humanity yet! I don’t agree with your stance but I do wish you well and all that. No reason two people wwithjth dissenting opinions have to be assholes to each other all the time, right? Have a good day. 🙂

    • Megan

      Also, There’s a lot of reasons for why a population has a certain rate of STI’s and circumcision is merely one factor, but:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23201382/?i=6&from=/24820907/related

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19370585/

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23112341/?i=2&from=/23400966/related

      • Megan

        Oops, I inadvertantly included a study in there on UTI. I guess that’s just a bonus…

        • Robert Howard

          Of course, that UTI study and the one on penile sensitivty are both authored by Brian Morris – a man known to have an insane infatuation with circumcision who spreads his bias around like butter. He is NOT a medical doctor, and all of his “studies” are meta-analyses where he picks and chooses his figures to make it seem like there are zero risks and so many benefits that he actually suggests all men should be circumcised.

          As for the HIV study – the risk of female-to-male transmission is 0.4%. That 38-66% reduction is off of that figure for an actual reduction of .15-.24%. In other words, you would have to circumcise 500-1000 men to prevent one case. And that’s if you belileve those figures which were obtained from trials in Africa on adult men apply to infants in the U.S. who most certainly are not having heterosexual sex.

    • Speaksvolumes

      Hear! Hear!

  • Lil’ Kitten Girl

    Thank you!

  • Here’s the thing. No one will ever care about female genital mutilation the way they do male circumcision. Despite stating over and over again that I’m anti-circ, explaining the differences between the two, and stating that one wrong doesn’t make a right, it’s still the goddamn dick that anyone gives a single fuck about.

    Do any of you have a google alert for female genital mutilation? How about the thousand upon thousand of deaths that occur due to it following infection, a child bride having her mutilated genitals ravaged by the full-grown husband, or childbirth?

    I’m not saying you’re a fuck for caring about the “lesser” of these two things. I donate money to animal charities, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about burn victims or whatever, that was just where my heart was beckoned and I totally understand that. But by COMPARING the two and talking like them like they’re equal, you are being the fuckiest first-world fuck to have ever fucked.

    Oh, maybe second to anti-choicers complaining that ABORTION IS THE LITERAL HOLOCAUST MILLIONS OF FETUSES MURDERED AND AS GRISTLY AND HORRIBLE AS GENOCIDE.

    Good day. You may commence the stone throwing and butthurt x-posting to MRA forums.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      Marry me.

    • Robert Howard

      Plenty of people care about FGM. That’s why WE BANNED IT in 1997. You’d be hard-pressed to find an intactivist who isn’t against FGM as well. We bring up circumcision more because it’s still legal for some ignorant reason.

      • fiftyfifty1

        “You’d be hard-pressed to find an intactivist who isn’t against FGM as well.”
        Against it on paper sure. But actually giving a damn, no. An intactivist who actually gives a damn about FGA is what you would be hard pressed to find. Annie is right.

        • Maya Markova

          I’ve been talking to students about FGM for years before becoming an intactivist. Actually, I’ve never thought I’d become one. Mr. Nebus and the judge made an excellent recruitment campaign.

        • Robert Howard

          Wrong.

          • Even while talking about FGM all you could focus on was penises. Even after my assurance that I’m against male circumcision, you had to parade your facts in about how awful something I’m already against is.

        • itry2brational

          I suppose you’re the arbiter of what will count for people actually giving a damn? What’s your standard? What criteria are you using? Can you demonstrate that every circ apologist here “gives a damn” about FGM? How? Then lets apply your standards to every circ apologist here and see if THEY “give a damn about FGM”.

      • People have been COMPARING them as though they’re the same, which is my argument.

        • Robert Howard

          Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. Google “subincision” and tell me that’s just fine and dandy. In Indonesia, girls have a small piece of their clitoral hood snipped off with scissors in a surgical setting. Compare those two and suddenly the “They’re not the same thing!!!!” argument gets flipped around.

          • Fallow

            You guys bring this thing up a lot, and keep not really answering why you aren’t screaming constantly about FGM, the way you scream about circumcision.

            If you have to cite (possibly) the least version of FGM as a direct comparison to male circumcision, then maybe you should think about how that sounds to other people. You’re essentially admitting that FGM as a practice is a lot worse than circumcision.

            Because you KNOW that the practice of FGM isn’t just confined to a clitoral hood snip. You know very well that when a girl has her genitals sawed off with a piece of metal and thatched together, that we’re talking about a procedure that has far outstripped anything you believably can say about male circumcision. So you have to look to the least version of FGM, so you can say, “SEE, SEE they’re the SAME THING sometimes”.

            Whenever you say “well, sometimes FGM is worse, but MOSTLY NOT, AND BY THE WAY DICKS”, you are writing off the suffering of uncountable women as nothing worth mentioning. As unfortunate anomalies. As something that’s just not worth talking about as much as the dick. People can see how mean-spirited and selfish this attitude is. Sorry that you’d rather we all ignore that, but it’s impossible.

            And then you’re evading the discussion of why you care less about FGM
            than you do about circumcision. Intactivists, as a culture, STRONGLY
            come across as people obsessed with foreskin. FGM is only brought up by
            intactivists I’ve seen, as a rhetorical tool. Not as something they give
            a shit about, in the end. But as an attention-grabbing, insulting,
            godawful ploy. All the women who have suffered under FGM deserve better, than to have a bunch of privileged men daring to compare the suffering
            of FGM to male circumcision. Daring to act like the toxic misogyny that produces FGM, is in any way comparable to the illogical-but-not-hateful cultural forces that have kept circumcision around.

            And you know what? If you’re really out there fighting pro-FGM people, then you’d better do a better job of advertising it. Because Annie’s description up there is EXACTLY how you people come off to the rest of the world. FGM can’t be that high on the intactivist priorities list, if no one has any clue they give a shit about it.

            Maybe intactivists are squawking too loudly about dick for us to hear the quiet peeps they make about FGM? Or maybe the MRA contingency among you squashes all hint that FGM is even worth discussing, because it happens to women? I don’t know. But if you want anyone to believe you people give a shit about FGM, you intactivists better start LOUDLY walking the walk. And if you don’t give a shit about FGM, stop expecting anyone to care what you say about circumcision.

            I am against circumcision myself, but I will never be able to take people
            like you seriously. Because to all appearances, dick IS the only thing you care about.

          • Cobalt

            Bravo. Integrity demands consistency (and honesty), and the intactivists have neither.

          • Maya Markova

            I think, however, that wide publicity and discussions about Hironimus’ case, though hardly optimal for the particular child, may influence similar cases in the future. We all here communicate in English and are more or less interested in our opponents’ arguments.
            A similar discussion about FGM would be empty talk. Most people doing or approving it don’t read English to begin with. Besides, there is the religious issue. Many of them would consider us inferior and wouldn’t want any of our opinions.
            Once, an opponent accused Dr. Amy that she cares only about providing pain relief to Western women, instead of making it accessible to Third World women. However, talking about the latter wouldn’t make it happen.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            We have some really, really good posts today. Very good points!

          • Robert Howard

            Actually, I did answer in a different comment – FGM is already illegal here and in countless other countries. And there’s not much I can do to stop people breaking laws in other countries. Circumcision is legal and routine here. And I can help change the laws in my own country.

            And I’m not denying that it’s horrible, but you are denying that it’s not always the scraping off with a rock and sewing shut kind of thing. And you’re acting like those cultures don’t also cut their men, too. BTW – the clitoral hood removal is exactly analogous to male circumcision, but it’s vastly less invasive, and it’s also not the least severe form of FGM, but don’t bother accepting that, or that ALL forms of FGM are illegal in the U.S., including a simple pinprick to draw a drop of blood. That would take your mind off “OMG THEY”RE BRUTALLY HAKING BITS OFF HER AND SEWING HERE SHOUT!QWEJ:!!@#!!”” EHRMAHGERHD!!!”.

            You also obviously aren’t aware that those same cultures that practice the more brutal forms also cut their males much more brutally, too. You obviously didn’t look up subincision, or you wouldn’t be arguing that circumcision is much less horrendous, since it’s not the only form of MGM. Some places, you get to lose your scrotal skin or the entire penile skin system, but let’s pretend that doesn’t exist either, because then we’d have to accept that it’s not better for men, that’s it’s pretty much the same everywhere, that ALL genital mutilation is a fucking crime against human rights, and that it ALL needs to stop. And if you’ve never heard that from an intactivist before, then you haven’t been listening beyond the “some types are less extreme”.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “the clitoral hood removal is exactly analogous to male circumcision, but it’s vastly less invasive”

            If it’s exactly analogous, how is it “vastly less invasive” than penile circ?

            ETA: not that it matters anyway. As the WHO points out, they have given a name to clitoral hood removal (Type 1a) but in real life it is almost never practiced, because IN REAL LIFE almost all FGA (types 1b-III) involves at minimum cutting off of the glans of the clitoris.

          • Robert Howard

            Because much less tissue is removed, and the foreskin isn’t ripped from the glans by probing it.

            Type III only occurs 10% of the time according to the WHO. But again that’s beside the point, because I’m not the one arguing that severity makes a bit of difference, and if you people would actually read what I wrote, you’d know that.

          • fiftyfifty1

            If how much tissue is removed is important to you, then having a circ done as an infant rather than as an adult will make sense to you, as the structure is much smaller in infancy, thus less tissue.

            But more importantly, once again, I have to ask why you keep trying to downplay FGA to make it seem just like male circ. It is true that the WHO says that type III (removal of the clitoris, hood, and all labia with the raw edges sewn shut to the diameter of a match stick) only occurs in 10%. But the WHO also goes to pains to emphasize that Type 1a (removal of the clitoral hood only, the procedure exactly analogous to male circ) is a largely theoretical type of FGA because it is hardly ever done in real life. IN REAL life, almost all FGAs (type 1b, II and III) CUT OFF THE CLITORIS, not just the hood.

          • Yeah, its rarest form. When you want to make a valid point about the comparison, just say subincision. You are being intentionally inflammatory to people who are already in agreement with you but don’t want to admit it because you’re being so awful.

          • Robert Howard

            *sigh* Because every time anyone mentions FGM (and it’s usually pro-circ people who do it) they always have to scream about how it’s not the same thing and FGM is horrible and done with rocks and they sew them shut and blahblahblah when in reality that’s hardly the most popular version, and they ignore the fact those societies also cut their men often in equally horrible ways. The simple fact is it isn’t a fricking contest. All genital cutting is wrong and needs to stop.

          • Can you see how it can be seen as offensive, though?

        • itry2brational

          Guess what? They don’t need to be the same to be EQUALLY wrong.

          • Guess what? THEY AREN’T EQUALLY WRONG.

            FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION KILLS THOUSANDS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN. CIRCUMCISION, WHICH IS ALSO WRONG, DOES NOT. THE REASONS FOR DOING THEM ARE ALSO VASTLY DIFFERENT.

            WHEN A CIRCUMCISED MAN DIES OF SEPSIS AFTER BEING RAPED ON HIS HONEYMOON, DO LET ME KNOW.

          • itry2brational

            “FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION KILLS THOUSANDS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN.” Proof? How many in the U.S.? How many baby boys die from MGM? In the U.S.?
            “CIRCUMCISION, WHICH IS ALSO WRONG, DOES NOT” …have to be the same! That’s right, they don’t have to be THE SAME across the board to be equally wrong.

            “THE REASONS FOR DOING THEM ARE ALSO VASTLY DIFFERENT.”
            What makes you think that changes anything? Nobody cuts a child’s genitals without feeling their reason is justified. In EVERY case of FGM or MGM the parent’s reason was for the good of the child. Better known as the ‘good intentions fallacy’.

            WHEN A CIRCUMCISED MAN DIES OF SEPSIS AFTER BEING RAPED ON HIS HONEYMOON, DO LET ME KNOW.
            Do you care about women who suffered far less severe circumstances? I bet you do, strange boys and men don’t get equal consideration.
            Here again you’re arguing for sameness. “WHEN” this *same* scenario is met for a man/boy, then and only then will you give it equal consideration. That’s a poor justification for being arrogantly inhuman toward boys and men.

          • UNICEF, WHO, Red Cross, United Nations, etc.

            I am still against circumcision. Read the original post which you’re arguing against, because the facts haven’t changed.

            If I cut someone’s dick, that is assault. If I cut it off and they bleed to death or subsequently die of infection, that is murder because those results are foreseeable. Murder is worse than assault.

            “Here again you’re arguing for sameness. “WHEN” this *same* scenario is met for a man/boy, then and only then will you give it equal consideration. That’s a poor justification for being arrogantly inhuman toward boys and men.”

            Our justice system targets men, and especially those of color, and I’m dedicating my life (and hundreds of thousands of dollars) to helping them. I used to visit college campuses and explain to boys and men how to have safe sex, date safely, check their genitals for cancer, and feel adequate about themselves. At this very moment, my overworked boyfriend is sleeping while my also overworked ass does his laundry because I love him and want to make his, a man’s, life easier.

            But no, I’m just in it for pussy power because I don’t agree with you.

    • itry2brational

      Annie, you trollish contrarian, nit picking moron. You’re projecting your OWN double standard on intactivists. Its the “goddamn dick” that’s being cut while the “goddamn pussy” is fully protected. The child genital mutilation in question is taking place in the intactivist’s OWN country, not a foreign one, that’s why the activism is more focused on boys. Girls are already protected by LAW, what activism do they require in the US? None. Somehow you’re anti-circ but are unable to catch that glaring double standard and hypocrisy. I don’t buy it.

      Your outrage is even more fake and misplaced than Tuteur’s. You’re more concerned with intactivists “talking” than with the literal cutting(and promoting the cutting) of baby genitals, which you claim continuously to oppose as if its supposed to mean something. It doesn’t.

      • Yes, I am concerned with intactivists talking, because they’re ill-natured trolls who turn people away from the cause. Do you think that people standing in the middle of the road are going to veer towards the ones calling them heartless baby-cutting monsters, or the calm, non-name calling pro-circumcision crowds?

        Your ilk are emotionally immature and that’s why banning circ is taking so long. People don’t want to be connected to an irrational movement; same reason why animal rights are never going to happen, despite the good intentions and being on the correct side of history.

        My argument was and always has been the comparison between the two. I’m against that, because intentionally threatening lives in order to be made into chattel by the thousands is worse than taking away something pleasurable far before the age of consent in order to protect silly religious rules that any teenage boy will break anyway.

        • itry2brational

          Anne, yours may be the most ill-natured comment(s) so far, its part of your schtick…how many f-bombs? You just named-called, while complaining that intactivists name-call. You think what you’re doing is HELPING intactivism?
          “the calm, non-name calling pro-circumcision crowds?”
          That’s not Tuteur, you or her loyal followers. You’re certainly not calm and you name-call like crazy while complaining about it(like Tuteur). Ad hominem is the most common tactic.

          The person who said “fuckiest first-world fuck to have ever fucked” is saying “Your ilk are emotionally immature…” Hypocrisy much? Robert Howard has been calmly, without name-calling, dismantling you, btw.

          “People don’t want to be connected to an irrational movement…”
          Christianity. Islam. The GOP. Tea party and libertarian. Most people connect themselves to irrational movements. If youre anti-circ, why are you helping the circumcision movement, literally right – here?

          You’re against one very particular argument you claim very few intactivists make so you feel justified in trashing ALL intactivists? That’s not enough to make someone turn coat and join cutters like Tuteur, literally helping her/them.
          Cutters lie about the alleged “benefits” of MGM but you’re more outraged over a perceived false equivalence argument? BS. Nothing about you adds up.

          • Actually, you’re the one here to change minds. I’m here to comment and read; I know that face-to-face discussion and pressuring lawmakers is where I’ll do that. If you read other comments, you’ll see people in the middle of the road as far as circumcision state their disgust at the tactics used by “anti-cutters”.

            Myself, read any of my comments on any subject and you’ll see that they’re much the same. I’m trollish and don’t take myself at all seriously.

  • Maya Markova

    I cannot see why a parent can stop even life-saving treatment for his child but cannot reconsider his decision upon a cosmetic surgery with alleged benefits that, according to an earlier post by Dr. Amy herself, are trivial in First World countries.
    I must disclaim that I am an intactivist, but this is not most important here. I am strongly pro-vaccines, but if you must jail and handcuff a mother in order to vaccinate her child, I’d say, leave them alone!

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Actually at least in the few countries in Europe where I have practiced medicine you can not stop life-saving treatment to your child. If a doctor thinks a particular procedure is absolutely necessary for the child’s wellbeing he/she can perform it and then inform the judge or if there is enough time you first inform the judge, get a court order and then perform the procedure. You do not have the right to refuse a life-saving blood transfussion or a life-saving surgery just because you gave birth to that particular child. I do not know how it works exactly worldwide or in the USA but as far as I know it is very similar.

      • Maya Markova

        The law allows both strategies, and often courts find the subject too sensitive and allow the parents have it their way. E. g. Hungarian doctors did not give a “Jehovah’s Witness” infant a needed blood transfusion and resorted to unproven alternative treatment to appease the parents (Lakatos L. et al.”Bloodless” treatment of a Jehovah’s Witness infant with ABO hemolytic disease. J Perinatol. 1999 Oct-Nov;19(7):530-2.). In the USA, Amish parents refused hemotherapy for the leukemia of their minor daughter Sara Hershberger. As far as I know, she is still in good condition, but in Canada, a First Nation girl named Makayla Sault died in the same circumstances.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          As far as I know the parents of Sarah got their way despite a judge ruling agaisnt them and designing a guardian for their daughter, so, yes, you do not have the right to do whatever you want to your child but yes, sometimes not everybody does what the courts tell them. It was still agaisnt a judicial order that they refused treatment for Sarah.

          I have no idea about the other two cases.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        In the US if a child is brought in to an emergency room and a parent isn’t present the doctor can make a choice to treat and almost all will if it’s a life or death situation. ER can use what’s called implied consent. Since they’re presenting to the ER it can be implied that they want treatment.

        However if a parent is there and denies life saving treatment, that’s when it gets muddy. Don’t quote me, but at that point if the doctor feels that the child will die or there’s a significant chance of morbidity the hospital social worker can get involved to assess what’s going on and why a parent is denying treatment.

        I haven’t ever seen the latter happen in life or death situations. I have seen parents deny consent to treat for minor issues, especially if it was a teenager brought in for med clearance by the police as when we hand the phone to the teen to explain why they’re there (we can’t say because of privacy issues) that’s the first the parents are hearing of them possibly participating in criminal activity.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Ir works pretty much like that in Spain. If a child appears in the ER you treat them. If parents are there they should consent. We have had problems with Jehova’s witness and blood transfussions. That is why the law says clearly that you can not decide in such cases even if you are the parent because the child’s right to live is higher than the child’s and parents right to refuse a particular treatment. That is a very clear situation but probably something like chemo for a non curable cancer or stopping life support for a child that will have life long dissabilities might get muddy. We do have of course complete patient autonomy for capable adults.

    • demodocus

      The mom reconsidered, the dad still thinks the child should be circumcised. I gather neither parent has a majority vote.

      • Maya Markova

        Therefore, I think that things should have been left as they were, unless a clear medical necessity emerged.

  • demodocus

    Poor child. Junior high is gonna be hell on him. Unless, of course, they homeschool. Then the first person at his first job who doesn’t like him…

  • Gretta

    Yes! That’s what I thought! The parents can’t possibly see that the very argument itself played out in the public eye is most likely more damaging than whatever the decision is with this poor child’s genitalia?!

    • Maya Markova

      The father apparently does not give a damn about the child’s well-being, and the mother maybe fears that giving in to the bullying of an abusive ex is a very bad precedent.

      • Nick Sanders

        I don’t think we are reading the same story.

        • Maya Markova

          Of course we are not.

          • Nick Sanders

            Then perhaps you should comment on this one instead?

          • Maya Markova

            I am commenting on the story of the Florida mother Heather Hironimus and her son, abused first by the biological father and then by the court.

          • Coming soon, on Lifetime Movie Channel…

          • Nick Sanders

            And you have evidence of this alleged abuse? Because simple circumcision is not abuse.

      • Cobalt

        If the mother was so concerned for the child’s welfare, she would have had the circumcision SHE AGREED TO done in early infancy instead of violating the parenting plan and gambling on its enforcement, then calling fringe activists and the media to publicize her poor decision-making skills and her son’s genitals, and then kidnapping the kid and going into hiding.

        The fact that the father is also concerned more with “winning” than with the child’s welfare doesn’t absolve her of any of her own disregard for the child.

        • Maya Markova

          I guess, when she signed that paper, she didn’t give much importance to circumcision. (I was about to write, “…she thought circumcision was in her son’s best interest”, but then remembered that she insisted that the father paid for it.)
          The father dragged the issue for 3 years, then decided to enforce this topic of the parenting plan. Meanwhile, the mother had changed her mind.
          When I had my first child, I was convinced that formula was not good for him and tried to exclusively breastfeed for weeks, though I hadn’t enough breastmilk. Now, I think I have caused unnecessary suffering to my baby, and I regret. So I sympathize with the mother as another mother who has made an honest mistake.
          Parents may change their mind now and then and still be concerned with their children’s welfare.

          • Cobalt

            Insisting he pay for it just means she wanted him to pay for it, and if it was more important to him to have the circ done, that is totally fine. When it wasn’t done in very early infancy, that was the time for her to either pay for it herself and recover the money (if his financial responsibility is in the parenting plan, she can enforce that) or go back to court to compel him to either have it done or agree not to do it. She waited just as long as the father did to take action on the issue, and then disregarded a court order, called the media, handed the publicity to fringe activists to intimidate the doctors, kidnapped the kid, hid him in a shelter, and pretends none of the trauma she is causing her child is her fault. She’s not a victim, she’s victimizing her son the same as the father is, if not more.

            And the outcome differences between electively circumcised and uncircumcised in the absence of medical need are negligible. The differences in outcomes between a diet of insufficient quantities of breast milk and a healthy amount of formula are huge, quite possibly actually life and death.

          • Maya Markova

            If you want the other parent to pay for something regarding your child, this means that you do not care about that thing. If you care, you do not wage court battles about who will pay, you get the thing done. And when the father did not move his finger, the mother naturally thought that he did not care, either. Your suggestions about everything was the mother’s job, frankly, make little sense to me, but maybe this is because I am not familiar with parenting through court’s mediation.
            The people you are calling “fringe” are fringe only in the USA. In Europe, where I live, they are mainstream.
            As for the baby-feeding issue, the scientific literature available to me at that time stated that supplementing with formula increased the risk for insulin-dependent diabetes by bovine albumin in formula cross-reacting with pancreatic beta cells and triggering an autoimmune reaction. Also, Dr. Spock and other authorities stated that it is no big deal if the infant is malnourished and that will make him suck harder and stimulate the glands to produce enough breastmilk.
            So, when my opponents now talk about the alleged benefits of circumcision, I think of the alleged benefits of exclusive formula feeding. Been there, done this.

          • momofone

            “If you want the other parent to pay for something regarding your child,
            this means that you do not care about that thing. If you care, you do
            not wage court battles about who will pay, you get the thing done.”

            There are plenty of examples of things parents share costs for, or one parent carries the cost alone. It doesn’t mean the parent requesting does not care. Some examples are education, medical expenses (insurance/medications/etc.), other activities such as camps and sports. Many people do go to court to have those agreements established as part of divorce or other custody proceedings (as in this case). Expecting the other parent to contribute to the costs of caring for children is not unreasonable. By your argument, if someone asks the other parent to bear part of the cost of their children’s education, the requesting parent must not want his/her son to be educated.

          • Maya Markova

            In my country, the non-custodial parent is just ordered by the court to pay a certain sum per month for the benefit of the child. The sum is typically too small, and many fathers after the divorce stop paying even it to the mother, but mothers in this situation have told me, “As long as I can work, I don’t give a damn about his money, and I am glad that he is out of our lives.” Now, I understand this very well.

          • Cobalt

            I find it hard to believe that the behavior of Intact America is mainstream in Europe. There is a FaceBook page dedicated to this child’s penis. That’s not mainstream anywhere.

            These parents started fighting before the child was even born. They came to an agreement on circumcision, she gambled on whether or not it would be enforced instead of actively pursuing the path of least trauma for her son. This fight didn’t come out of nowhere after years of peace. She knew, and chose her own pride and vindictiveness over the child. She’s crying victim to save face because her bet didn’t pay off and now she’s making sure the child is the biggest loser.

            And when people talk about the alleged benefits of forgoing circumcision, you don’t think of the alleged benefits of exclusive breastfeeding? That organizations dedicated to a promoting a certain choice, instead of child welfare, might not be the most forthcoming about different choices?

          • Maya Markova

            The only reason there is a Facebook page dedicated to the child’s penis is because a court is enforcing cosmetic surgery against the mother’s wish. In Europe, I haven’t heard of such things happening, and I don’t think it could happen, so people are calm and don’t make pages dedicated to saving the penis of any particular child (at least, none I know about). It is, however, mainstream to believe that infant circumcision should not be done except for religious and clear medical reason (not “circumcision brings down the frequency of X condition”).
            So far, Ms. Hironimus’ bet is paying off. I mean, doctors aren’t lining up to circumcise her son.
            Because I am female, I haven’t any first-hand knowledge about the importance of foreskin for sex. However, while I don’t know any adult giving a damn about how he was fed in infancy, men around me do care about their penises. And very few choose to be circumcised as adults. To me, it would be utmost hypocrisy to say that Ms. Hironimus must swallow things I wouldn’t want for myself and my sons.

          • Cobalt

            So because you wouldn’t want your son circumcised, and the father’s religion isn’t one that’s “circ approved” for the European standard, the father shouldn’t be allowed to have his son circumcised? If his preferences and culture are different from yours, they don’t matter? Could the threats from fringe activists have anything to do with doctors not wanting to be the one to circumcise?

            Her bet has resulted in the public humiliation of her child and her being jailed. I wouldn’t call that paying off, unless vindictiveness and pride are the goals instead of a healthy child.

          • Maya Markova

            Yes, I think he shouldn’t – and actually, so do you, as you stated above! His preferences do matter, but the child cannot be both uncircumcised and circumcised, so in this case, it is impossible for both parents to have their way, and there is no middle variant.
            Maybe some doctors are indeed afraid of violent intactivists, and I wouldn’t approve their violence. However, other doctors may be afraid of bad publicity and even more may be afraid of legal complications, i.e. whether the coerced “consent” of the mother would be considered valid.

            About the mother – I believe she wants her son uncircumcised, and people under duress easily become obstinate. As a college student, I almost got kicked out because of my refusal to kill a frog.

          • Cobalt

            Should or shouldn’t, that’s up to the judge. Whatever the court rules needs to be the final answer, just so it’s settled and the shit show stops, and both parents need to support the kid’s actual needs either way. The drama is what is harmful to the child.

            But if I were the judge, I would rule for not having it done without a clear, verifiable medical indication (since religion and culture are already ruled out per the parents).

            I don’t think circumcision is a tragedy though. Some guys are, some aren’t. A circumcised penis can do anything an uncircumcised penis can do, it just doesn’t have to “roll up its sleeves” first.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            As I explained before in most countries in Europe (no, Europe is not all the same) circumcission is not routine but we do perform it for medical reasons. When I was young it was really common. A lot of boys of my age have had it. Admittedly it was before steroids creams were used to deal with it. I had various partners that were circ and others that were not. None of them cared about it and although I do not obviously have first hand experience I have never ever noticed a difference between them regarding sex. One of my partners had it as a young teenager and he was very happy because after that he could masturbate and he could not before.

            In any case the law in most european countries states that as a parent you are not allowed to refuse a necessary treatment. Circumcission might be necessary and in that case a judge can order it even without parental consent. You are not entitled to do anything you want with your child just because he or she is your son/daughter.

          • AllieFoyle

            Maybe all of that is true, and maybe not. It seems to me that you’re assuming the worst possible motivations.

            The agreement stated that Nebus arrange and pay for the procedure. That was his responsibility, no one else’s. Why on earth would the mother be compelled to do something she feels is wrong and didn’t want to do in the first place? If you negotiated a clause in your parenting agreement to state that your child would attend a particular summer camp every year, and that you would arrange and pay for it, why would you expect the other parent to make the arrangements and pay for it if you didn’t? Particularly if it was something that was important to you, but not in alignment with the other parent’s values?

            Whether or not you agree, it seems that the mother genuinely believes that circumcision would be harmful to her son and is acting to protect him from what she believes to be a serious potential harm. She was willing to go to jail and face serious legal consequences for that belief. Ideally she would have worked this out privately and amicably through the court system, but that’s a difficult and expensive process. It’s concerning if the judge was not willing to consider the effect of the procedure on the child. He’s being treated like an object. He needs an advocate to present his best interests and clarify the medical issues.

          • Cobalt

            I cannot reconcile her behavior with any positive or forgivable motivation. She deliberately let the issue hang, knowing the asshole father was going to keep pushing for it. You don’t gamble with this stuff, you address it, especially if you’re already in court arguing over everything else. Waiting until the kid is four is inexcusable on both sides.

          • rh1985

            The mother didn’t lose because the judge didn’t care about Chase getting circumcised. His best interests were not considered because of (rightly or wrongly) how the law is written in Florida. The mother lost because of the law in Florida, which only allows modification of a final custody order if very specific conditions are met. I was curious why the legal result was what it was, so I read the court decision and the cited Florida law. Once both parents signed the original parenting plan, it was approved and finalized by the court and at that point it became a final custody order. Florida allows a final custody order to be modified only if both of the following conditions are met: There must be a substantial and unforeseeable change of circumstances, AND (not or, but AND, both must be true) the proposed modification is in the best interests of the child. Best interests can only be reconsidered if the first is true (change of circumstances). Presumably this is to give finality to custody agreements so that parents can’t constantly go back to court and be allowed to try to change the custody order just because.

            So the mother had to prove a substantial change of circumstances, that could not have been foreseen, in order to have the child’s best interests reconsidered. The judge can only rule on the arguments presented to him. At the hearing for the mother’s request to modify the custody order, the mother, through her lawyer, made only one argument – she was worried about the requirement for general anesthesia. I don’t know if she had a bad lawyer, or at the time she was only concerned with the health effects and became more ethically opposed to circumcision later on. But in either case, that was her legal argument. The doctor testified the procedure was no riskier than when the agreement was signed, and the risks, medically, would remain the same until puberty (because a 1 year old toddler would also have needed general anesthesia). Because of that, the judge ruled there was no legal reason to modify the custody order.

            If the circumcision had not been something the mother initially agreed to and the father went to court to try and modify it to allow circumcision, he would have lost unless a medical issue had developed that required circumcision because he then also would have been unable to prove the required change of circumstances. The judge was not ruling on if circumcision was best for the child, he was ruling whether there was a legal reason the parenting plan should be modified, and based on the arguments the mother’s side presented in court, legally, there was not. The other arguments she made (child too old, child afraid of the procedure, child will be psychologically damaged) were made after she already lost in court and also lost an appeal and the circumstances under which new legal arguments can be made after a party loses in court are very limited. She had her day in court to present those arguments, but she did not.

            Agree or disagree with the law being what it is. Presumably, it’s to promote stability for children and finality of custody arrangements so that parents can’t constantly go to court to change a custody order for minor reasons.

          • AllieFoyle

            Thanks for the explanation.

          • Cobalt

            And trying to get the other parent to pay for as much as possible is pretty typical in custody situations. From health insurance to school clothes to braces to piano lessons. That doesn’t mean the parent doesn’t believe in health care, or clothes, or orthodontics, or extracurricular activities. It just means kids are expensive.

          • momofone

            You said this so much better than I did.

          • Cobalt

            I thought yours was solid, I just didn’t see it until I got down off my soapbox.

            I’ve seen a lot of separations/divorces. The ones with the best outcomes for the kids were ones where at least one parent made a point of putting the kids first. You can’t stop the other parent from being a righteous asshole, but you can: anticipate problems, do your part to prevent or solve problems, be proactive in the court to address what you can’t control, try to minimize any trauma to the kid even if you’re not the source, and, oh, hmm, not also be a righteous asshole yourself.

            So, even though I think the father in this case is an absolute righteous asshole, I see no reason to feel any differently about the mother. She’s too busy having an asshole competition with the father to show any concern for what, out of all possible options, is best for the child.

          • momofone

            Exactly. When the grownups are all ME-ME-ME, who’s taking care of the kids?!

          • Daleth

            “An asshole competition,” exactly. So sad for the kid.

          • Maya Markova

            As I said, it was difficult for me to get the idea behind this arrangement because where I live, there is no such detailing. The court just fixes the monthly payment by the non-custodial parent, then the custodial parent uses this money, and his own money, as seems best to his view.
            I am time and again surprised when I stumble across unexpected cultural differences. To me, Heather Hironimus was deprived of parental, civil and human rights because she decided to convert to my culture.
            Of course, if her child’s father had even a minimum of benevolence, we wouldn’t be discussing now. It seems that, under current laws, the only way to prevent this situation was – as soon as Ms. Hironimus found out she was pregnant from a man she did not trust, to terminate the pregnancy.

          • Cobalt

            “It seems that, under current laws, the only way to prevent this situation was – as soon as Ms. Hironimus found out she was pregnant from a man she did not trust, to terminate the pregnancy.”

            Or not agree to circumcision in the first place. Or terminate her parental rights, as so many have called for the father to do (and is what you describe as the non custodial parent having no voice in parenting, just being a paycheck). Or be proactive when the father wasn’t timely in following the agreement to circumcise. Or not risk pregnancy with a man she didn’t trust.

            “To me, Heather Hironimus was deprived of parental, civil and human rights because she decided to convert to my culture.”

            Does the father automatically lack those rights because he didn’t convert? In the US, the idea is that parents are equal under the law (yes, there have been heavy biases in the past, but that doesn’t change the ideal or the fact that the courts have become much less biased over time).

          • Maya Markova

            I may have been unclear about non-custodial parents in my country. Besides paying checks, they have visitation rights, the right to block the child from leaving the country etc.
            About Ms. Hironimus and Mr. Nebus – as you said, they were already in a war, so if it were not the circumcision, I believe it would be some other issue.

            About me being unjust to the father: I think that if there is a disagreement between the parents about some medical procedure, the procedure should NOT be performed, except in an emergency situation threatening the life or health of the child (that is, a situation where doctors actually wouldn’t need the consent of even one parent).

          • Cobalt

            “About me being unjust to the father: I think that if there is a disagreement between the parents about some medical procedure, the procedure should NOT be performed, except in an emergency situation threatening the life or health of the child (that is, a situation where doctors actually wouldn’t need the consent of even one parent).”

            I generally agree with this. I wouldn’t wait until it was life and death, but a default of inaction without a demonstrable need for action is usually the safer long term solution.

            I also think pursuing a purely elective circumcision on a four year old, especially if it’s done just to aggravate your ex, is an asshole move. I give the father zero credit, same as the mother.

            I just don’t find circumcision to be this big, horrible, abusive thing. You’re either circumcised or not, it’s really not a big deal. They’ve made it a big deal, and this child will suffer for it either way.

          • Maya Markova

            BTW, thank you for keeping the discussion civil, I learned some new things and, while not changing my opinion, I think I understand other people’s opinions better.

          • Cobalt

            Honestly, if I was the judge, I would have ruled he not be circumcised without CLEAR medical need or VERIFIABLE religious or cultural need once he passed early infancy. When in doubt, leave it alone is my personal way of handling those kinds of decisions.

            If I was the mother, I would have done it early on or gotten legal documentation to skip it to avoid it turning into this mess.

            If I was the father, I would have gotten it done early or not at all.

            If I was the kid I would wish I had real parents.

          • rh1985

            The judge made a decision within the confines of the laws of the state (Florida). Basically, once permission for the father to circumcise was in the court approved parenting plan agreed to by both parents and finalized by the court (which made it a finalized custody order enforceable by the court), best interests of the child alone would not be enough of a reason, under the law, to modify the custody order. In addition, a significant and unforeseeable change of circumstances is required. It is possible that, with different legal arguments and a better lawyer, the mother might have been able to present an argument that there had been a significant change of circumstances due to the child’s age, psychological issues it would cause since he was old enough now to remember, etc. But the judge can only rule on what’s before him and the only issue the mother raised when she initially went to court to try to modify the custody order was that she was afraid to have her son have general anesthesia. At the time of the original agreement, he was already too old to have the procedure without general anesthesia. The doctor testified that the medical risk was the same as it was when the circumcision was first agreed upon. Therefore, the judge ruled there was no valid reason to modify the custody order. After she lost in court and an appeals court upheld the decision, she then tried to make additional arguments like the child was afraid, the child would be traumatized psychologically, but generally courts don’t allow people to make new arguments after they’ve already lost a case unless they were not given a fair opportunity to do so the first time around.

            The judge’s ruling had nothing to do with whether circumcision was best for this child. Under state law, the consideration was whether there were valid reasons to modify the custody order (significant enough change of circumstances to warrant a new determination of the best interests of the child). Based on the arguments presented in court, there weren’t. Had the original custody order not had the circumcision clause in it, then the father decided two years later he wanted the child circumcised without medical reason, he would have been the one to lose because he wouldn’t have been able to prove change of circumstances.

            The law is probably this way so there is finality for children’s custody arrangements. It would be very disruptive if parents were legally allowed to go to court to modify a custody order whenever they wanted to. Although the result is, in my opinion, not the best for this particular child’s health (I am not opposed to newborn circumcision, but I do not feel the minor health benefits outweigh the risks of general anesthesia for an older child), I think overall, a law that limits constant modification of custody orders is best for the vast majority of kids, even though it may in rare situations, not be best for an individual child.

          • Cobalt

            I agree with your conclusion based on the laws of the state. I think both parents are still assholes, but I have a better understanding of the position the judge is in.

          • rh1985

            I agree. I feel sorry for him. They have no ability to co parent.

          • elizabeth a

            I think there are more rational and productive ways that this case could have been handled, but I do not fault the mom for not bringing the issue back to court while the child’s father wasn’t pressing it. It’s expensive, and if you’re getting what you want without a legal battle, you may be better off not rocking that boat.

          • Cobalt

            This child is certainly not better off from her “not rocking the boat” when it came to being proactive in avoiding this mess. They were fighting about everything before he was even born, it’s not like she didn’t know it was an issue. They had the circumcision fight resolved before his birth, she chose to gamble on enforcement and then made sure it was the child that lost.

          • elizabeth a

            I am pretty sure, actually, that “if he’s not getting around to it, don’t sweat it out in court” is advice that many lawyers would give in the situation proceeding this one, where an agreement existed, and the mother had changed her mind. (I’m not a lawyer. I am talking to lawyers about my own divorce and custody stuff.)

            The thing is, I think the follow up when dad did get it together would have been to assemble evidence concerning the current best interests of the child and go back to court, armed with solid concerns (child is four, urologists disagree, reactions to GA, etc.) When she signed the agreement (which she wouldn’t have been permitted to do pre-natally – children must be born to be the subject of agreements like this one), she thought it was in her child’s best interests, but circumstances have changed. She might or might not have succeeded, but she wouldn’t have traumatized her child, or committed other crimes incidental to refusal, and she would be in a much better position in a lot of ways. She wouldn’t be a handy intactivist icon, but her son would have a better chance of remaining uncircumcised.

          • Cobalt

            They were already in court, it’s not like she would be asking for a court date out of the blue when everything is just peachy otherwise. And the risk of it becoming an issue eventually was very high, considering the obvious animosity between them the entire time. To completely ignore part of an extensively litigated parenting agreement is foolish at best. Compounding that with her response to losing the bet doesn’t give me any faith in her commitment to her child’s welfare over her desire to “win”.

          • Cobalt

            “She wouldn’t be a handy intactivist icon, but her son would have a better chance of remaining uncircumcised.”

            His best chance for remaining uncircumcised would probably have been for the mother to demand it be done. That’s how awful these people are.

          • Maya Markova

            “His best chance for remaining uncircumcised would probably have been for the mother to demand it be done.”
            Funny, and you may be 100% right!

      • Cobalt

        You don’t fight “the bullying of an abusive ex” by giving your 4 year old’s genitals their own Facebook page. Violating a court order doesn’t set a good precedent, either.

  • Cobalt

    I would like to thank the regulars, and especially AllieFoyle, fiftyfifty1, DephiniumFalcon, and Gatita for their participation in this thread, and Dr. Tuteur for this post. Your tireless pursuit of rational integrity is wonderful to behold and greatly appreciated. You guys give me a serious case of the thinks.

    There is hope for the internet.

    • Medwife

      Isn’t it great here? I swear I think it’s the most interesting, least obnoxious, best moderated board I’ve ever seen.

      • Megan

        That’s why this is the only blog I generally post comments.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Yes, Dr. Tuteur’s moderation is great. She removes only minimal comments (e.g. magic potion cures spam, and repeated clear cut threats), but manages to keep things focussed by asking commenters to clarify and defend their positions.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      I just recently started commenting. I got tired of being called a racist such and such on tumblr for not seeing the white savior trope being applied to the elves in Dragon Age and that Bioware doesn’t understand the elves. I thought I was playing a video game with a created world that was clever enough to include history written by different cultures that say different things. I am apparently very wrong.

      I needed a higher calibur of conversation after I considered going full troll. You never go full troll.

  • LittleBigFace

    Yep, I’m obsessed with baby penis. I’m SO obsessed that when a baby is born I pay HUNDREDS of pounds to have his penis cosmetically modified. That’s how obsessed I am with baby penis. Appalling!

    • Nick Sanders

      And when two doctors say a child might need the procedure for non-cosmetic reasons, is it still an appalling obsession?

      • Maya Markova

        MIGHT is the key word here. Every girl MIGHT need removal of her breast buds to prevent future breast cancer, yet this is not done, expect in the “Ashley treatment”.

        • Nick Sanders

          Are you one of the two doctors in question? Were you present for their statements? If the answer to both of these is “no”, please refrain from declaring the level of ambivalence in their statements. From the information presented, it seems they both felt the risk-benefit analysis favored the benefit enough to go ahead with it. Beyond that, unless you have an additional source, all else is speculation.

          • Maya Markova

            I am not one of the two doctors, and neither are those who claim the procedure was medically necessary. All I have are news reports. But the mere fact that the judge justifies his bizarre actions by a consent signed by the mother years ago, rather than on medical necessity, strongly suggests to me that this necessity does not exist.

      • LittleBigFace

        In this case I can’t really say anything. But this writer is referring to intactivists in general.

        • Cobalt

          So FaceBook pages dedicated to a child’s genitals, fundraisers, protests, letter writing campaigns, threatening doctors, none of that is appalling or obsessive?

          • LittleBigFace

            They do it for female mutilation why not male? Just because one’s worse doesn’t mean the other is good!

      • Robert Howard

        When the only doctor who testified at the trial said there was no medical need and wouldn’t do it to his own son at that age, yes.

    • Megan

      And FWIW, the average cost in my area for a newborn circumcision is around $200-$250. That’s the equivalent of around £150, hardly “HUNDREDS of pounds.” No need to exaggerate.

      • Wren

        Actually, looking quickly online “hundreds of pounds” is actually generally in the right range unless the NHS is happy to fund it. That will vary by area and reason for circumcision.
        The closest option for us would be £200 for an infant, £450 for a child the age of the boy in the article.

        • Megan

          On a quick Google search I saw a UK clinic’s website online stating they do infant circumcisions for £150. Obviously that is a private clinic and I do admit I have no experience with the NHS. My point was that I felt like the cost of the procedure was being overstated to make a point.

          • Wren

            There are some cheaper options, assuming you discount travel expenses. Around me though, if the NHS doesn’t choose to pay for it (so no pressing medical reason and other options have failed), hundreds of pounds is definitely in the right range.

            I looked it up and replied to you mainly because you just cannot assume costs will be fairly equivalent in different countries. Heck, I pay £5 for a box of Lucky Charms here.

          • Megan

            “Hundreds of pounds” or “HUNDREDS of pounds?” 😉

          • Wren

            Honestly, I see that difference as more of a factor of disposable income than an actual numerical difference.
            Given that healthcare costs are extremely low here, hundreds of pounds is HUNDREDS of pounds to most. My family’s (2 adults, 2 kids) total cost for healthcare annually is about £200, of which £115 or so is my prescriptions, with the remainder being over the counter medications, band aids/plasters and a prescription for my husband about once every 2 years.

          • Megan

            I’m sure the fact that, for example, my personal health insurance has a deductible of $2500 (and the fact that many medications here cost much more than a circumcision) does influence my idea of what relative cost of healthcare is seen as “expensive.” Regardless my point was that the commenter seemed to be exaggerating to make a point and to discourage circumcision. By capitalizing “HUNDREDS” that implies to me that the poster means multiple hundreds of pounds. One would not usually say “HUNDREDS of pounds” to reference £150. You are right that prices vary from place to place but just as it is apparently not universally a cheap procedure, it’s not universally an expensive procedure either, especially when compared to the cost of other procedures. I just tire of the argument that circumcision is this big money making thing. It’s not.

          • Wren

            I agree it’s not a big money making thing.
            I didn’t quite see the original comment as saying that, but more that being willing to spend a reasonably large amount of money on what is effectively a cosmetic procedure (regardless of future potential health benefits the cosmetic change is generally the more common reason) shows a greater “obsession” with “baby penis” than not doing so.
            To be honest, having lived in a culture where circumcisions are pretty much limited to religious and medical reasons, I get that point. That may have influenced the way I interpreted it

          • Maya Markova

            + 1

          • Megan

            It’s certainly possible I’m not interpreting the post correctly. Honestly I feel pretty ambivalent about circumcision. I care more about parents being able to freely make the choice to circumcise. It’s not my business what other people do with their child in that respect. I just think that the costs and medical info surrounding the procedure should be presented truthfully so people can make an informed choice. I felt that poster was exaggerating to try to sway people in their direction.

          • Megan

            I didn’t assume. I looked it up too and found £150.

          • Wren

            What you originally posted was that it cost $200-$250 near you, which was about £150. There was no indication you had looked at UK prices, hence my checking. Looking at it, in areas with a relatively high population who do circumcise for religious reasons, the cost is less. Other areas cost more. Harley Street is obviously significantly higher than that (starting from about £1000 apparently).
            In any case, when total medical costs are generally extremely low (my husband, for example, spends about £20/year including over the counter meds), even £150 seems high.

      • LittleBigFace

        No, it can cost hundreds of pounds in the UK because it’s less common. Not everywhere is like America!

  • Sue

    I’ve had no male children to agonise over, but I know there are healthy, well-adjusted men all around the world, both circ’ed and foreskin-bearing. There are well-adjusted and maladjusted people in both categories.

    What I don’t understand is how a public campaign about the fate of your son’s foreskin could possibly help his long-term well-being.

    • Daleth

      That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it. Unless there’s a medical need for circ in his case, the father should have given up this battle and told the kid he could choose himself when he was 18.

      • Nick Sanders

        Well, two doctors have said there’s a medical reason to go through with the procedure.

        • me

          Not quite. A pediatrician suspected phimosis. Child was referred to a specialist (urologist) who disagreed with the pediatrician’s assesment – no phimosis. The urologist said that the child, might, maybe, perhaps, could potentially, possibly benefit in some unknown, could-we-be-any-more-vague-here way in the future if he was circ’d. So, no. No immediate medical reason.

          The father didn’t get it done when the mother agreed to it, during the child’s infancy (when it is a pretty simple, safe, uncomplicated procedure). All of a sudden it is important to the father to have this painful procedure done on a 4 year old (no longer such a safe, simple, uncomplicated procedure). For no medical reason. The child needs an advocate appointed by the court who will act in the child’s best interests and give consent ONLY if the procedure is found to be medically *necessary*. Fuck mom. Fuck dad. They’re both assholes. Who is going to take care of this child?

          • rh1985

            He was about 1 1/2 he would have needed general anesthesia anyway. They have been fighting in court since he was three.

          • Wren

            Is general anaesthesia required? At least one clinic here in the UK does it with a combination of sedation and local anaesthetic.

          • rh1985

            I thought it was always done with general once the child wasn’t a young infant anymore?

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” Child was referred to a specialist (urologist) who disagreed with the pediatrician’s assesment – no phimosis. The urologist said that the child, might, maybe, perhaps, could potentially, possibly benefit in some unknown, could-we-be-any-more-vague-here way in the future if he was circ’d.”
            We actually have no idea what the urologist diagnosed. We, the general public, are not owed an explanation nor is the urologist allowed to clarify. Medical privacy laws still prevail.

          • Robert Howard

            The only judge to testify at the trial said there is no medical need.

          • fiftyfifty1

            You can pay an expert witness to say just about anything.

          • Robert Howard

            Then why didn’t the father produce someone who could say it was medically necessary?

          • fiftyfifty1

            Because he doesn’t have the money? There is no crazy un-intactivist movement that is going to rally behind him and raise $ for him apparently.

          • Robert Howard

            Actually, he does.

          • Robert Howard

            Obviously I meant doctor…

          • Robert Howard

            The judge denied the request for a guardian ad litem.

        • Robert Howard

          Not in trial. The only doctor to testify said there is no medical need. And the two who said there was (according to the father) said he had phimosis. Phimosis can’t be diagnosed in a child his age because it’s the natural state in young boys.

  • I hope none of the judgmental people here is ever involved in a custody issue. Trying very hard to get your child taken care of is easy to misconstrue as being malicious or egocentric when you aren’t actually involved. That is why custody evaluators are assigned so often- it is so, so hard to judge these situations without an intimate knowledge of the parties involved and documentation from relevant sources.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “I hope none of the judgmental people here is ever involved in a custody issue”

      You mean like the sort of judgmental person who calls a parent a “weirdo” for considering a circ for a 4 year old after it is recommended by 2 different doctors?

      • if you want to think that calling someone a “weirdo” is on the same tier as saying that they don’t care about their own child that is your issue, but to me (and I would wager, most people) the 2nd implication is much more serious than the first.

      • Valerie

        Check your facts- I’m trying to find the old article that talked about the doctor who was slated to perform the procedure. He recommended against it because of the risks of general anesthesia. I don’t remember reading about a medical necessity, other than the dad being concerned that the boy peed on himself.

        I might be misremembering, but it sounds like you are treating it as a given that a person with the best interests of the child would circumcise. I don’t think that’s decided in this case- the judge didn’t rule that it’s in the child’s best interest, but that the old agreement that the father would arrange for a circumcision of an infant should hold on a pre-schooler.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “but it sounds like you are treating it as a given that a person with the best interests of the child would circumcise.”

          Not at all. I’m merely arguing that someone who would consider a circ in a 4 yo who is having problems and who has had 2 different docs recommend it is not necessarily “some kind of weirdo” as Safer Midwifery Utah would argue.

          • Valerie

            Hm. I guess I read it as not just considering circumcision, but wanting it so badly that he is legally compelling his ex and his son to go through with it. I, too, would want a child his age to get circumcised if it would solve medical problems when less severe/risky treatments failed, but I was under the impression that the child wasn’t experiencing pain/infections/etc and the father just wanted to do it because it was the “normal” thing to do (and his ex was against it?). Which is creepy, especially when your child is old enough to perceive and remember all the surrounding events as trauma.

            So yeah, considering a therapeutic circumcision for a child isn’t automatically weird, but I don’t think that’s what Safer Midwife Utah was arguing.

    • Poogles

      “I hope none of the judgmental people here is ever involved in a custody issue. Trying very hard to get your child taken care of is easy to misconstrue as being malicious or egocentric when you aren’t actually involved.”

      Without reading SMU’s other comments, I assumed the “judgemental people” were referring to the intactivsts on this thread, lol.

      I agree with the overall sentiment of the comment though – it can be very easy to misconstrue and jump to conclusions about the intentions of others, especially when all we have to go on is what is publicly available.

      I still think that this should never have been made into such a public media-circus, but I don’t necessarily agree with some of the conclusions some commenters have made about both parents and what their intentions have been through all of this.

  • I can’t be alone in thinking its weird to want to circumsize a four year old??? What kind of weirdo thinks that is a good idea?
    *edited to add: a four year old without a medical condition that indicates the surgery as a remedy

    • fiftyfifty1

      Maybe the sort of “weirdo” that has had a son with recurrent balanitis, recurrent UTIs or a stenosed foreskin that hasn’t responded to steroids?

      (Those are the reasons for the circs of the 3 kids I have pre-oped in the ~ 15 years I’ve been in practice. And no, not a single one of their parents was weird in any way)

      • False equivalences are boring to be honest, what you are discussing has *nothing* to do with circumcising a four year old without any medical condition that would indicate the surgery.

        • fiftyfifty1

          People who don’t read the article are boring to be honest. Did you miss the part about 2 different doctors saying that it was medically indicated for the 4 year old?

          • You are pretending that this agreement was struck afterwards because of a medical issue instead of being made, and then not enforced, and then medical reasons were invented retroactively in order to serve one party’s agenda. Seems pretty obvious to me anyway… You are also pretending that it is hard to find two doctors to recommend any specific procedure. Its not. The world of pediatric gender transition evidences this pretty strongly. You can say your son plays with dolls too much and get them a script for lupron with a single consultation.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “The world of pediatric gender transition evidences this pretty strongly. You can say your son plays with dolls too much and get them a script for lupron with a single consultation.”

            Bullshit. I have a transgender patient population as part of my panel, including some pediatric patients, and that is not at all how it is done.

            (I must say, I love these circ posts. Even some of our regulars jump the shark.)

          • Guestll

            Yes, including you.

          • demodocus

            Uh-huh. My son brought his doll to the dr’s at his 18 month check. All Dr. A did was say “Is that your baby?” in a conversational way. (To which my son nodded and said “Bay!”)

          • Robert Howard

            Those doctors claimed he had phimosis. A condition that can’t be diagnosed until puberty. If it was such a great reason, why did neither of them testify?

          • fiftyfifty1

            Naw, the first doctor called it phimosis, the urologist said it wasn’t technically phimosis. In my experience, primary care physicians call most foreskin problems “phimosis” when technically most aren’t. The true problem that gets kids referred on to the urologist usually turns out to be foreskin stenosis (i.e. it’s not that the foreskin being fused to the glans that is the problem, it’s that the opening to the foreskin has shrunk down and is only pinhole size, causing the child not to be able to urinate in a normal stream, but rather drip and dribble all over when he goes to urinate. This problem can, if not corrected, actually cause urinary obstruction severe enough to harm the kidneys. This problem can sometimes be fixed through steroid use, but not always)

          • Robert Howard

            Well, it’s been a year and a half since the case started. I’m guessing he probably doesn’t have it.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, bad enough to cause kidney damage I would say he doesn’t have. But severe enough to cause emptying problems and dribbling quite possible.

        • Zornorph

          Have you seen little Chase’s penis? How do you know he doesn’t need the procedure? I don’t, but a couple of doctors have said that he does.

      • PInky

        so a really common condition then? 1 kid every 5 years with severe problems?

        • Cobalt

          Not really common, I’ve seen stats ranging from 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 10,000.

    • rh1985

      it’s been in court for a couple years, so he was younger when the dad first wanted to circ him

      • Maya Markova

        According to news reports, he was 3 years old by that time.

  • MHAM

    Oh, for Pete’s sake. Without wading all the way in to this total shit-show, here’s my chief concern about this story: Could the courts and the media not have redacted this poor kid’s name?? How awful to have this embarrassing spectacle attached to him for life, no matter the final outcome. All adult parties to this debacle should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    • Bugsy

      Nicely stated.

    • Virtually every state requires that in family court proceedings, I don’t know which party leaked the details to the media…

      • Cobalt

        The mother. She called the foreskin crusaders to help support her position and intimidate the doctors recommending the procedure.

        • Zornorph

          She even posted pictures of him on the ‘Save Chase’s Dick’ Facebook page.

          • Cobalt

            That’s awful.

          • cosmopolite

            What is awful is a father hell bent on having his son circumcised, regardless of the views of his son and his son’s mother.

          • Nick Sanders

            Please tell me that isn’t the actual name of the group.

          • Zornorph

            No, I think it’s just ‘Save Chase’ or something like that, but then the text on the page makes it clear that it’s all about his dick.

          • cosmopolite

            The group is called Chase’s Guardians. I am not a member.

          • JFC. I could cry for that poor kid.

        • cosmopolite

          No doctor recommended the procedure.

    • Mattie

      It is shocking, in the UK the family courts are ‘secret’ so no media and if anyone talks about the proceedings in public they go to prison.

      • cosmopolite

        The practice your describe gravely contravenes our traditions of an open society. In the USA, quite a few matters are not prosecuted because the conducting the prosecution would enter into the public record information that is very embarrassing to the govt. Out of court settlements, often negotiated in the judge’s chambers, are not part of the trial transcript. But everything said in the courtroom is part of the trial transcript, and that is
        If Family Court proceedings were secret, that would lead to shocking abuses in the USA, of that you can be sure.
        A major problem in the USA right now is police (who are always armed in the USA) murdering people in the line of duty, followed by grand juries who fail to indict. In a grand jury, the Crown Prosecutor argues for a prosecution; the contrary case is not officially presented. The CP can subtly undermine a prosecution by being half hearted, by presenting evidence favourable to the perp, by acting in bad faith. The public cannot determine if the CP is acting in bad faith, because grand jury proceedings are held in camera, and the transcripts are secret. Grand juries were abolished in the UK in 1932. They are a stage managed farce. Secret family court proceedings would likewise turn into a farce.
        “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

        • Mattie

          I think there are definite problems with secret court hearings, often with one side not being represented fairly (be that one parent against the other, or both against the state) and then being unable to discuss the situation. However, secret proceedings are to protect the child, and that should always 100% of the time be the primary concern of all people involved.

          • cosmopolite

            Name suppression yes. Court proceedings with trial transcripts, or with secret transcripts, no.
            Name suppression is common garden in Australia and New Zealand.

          • cosmopolite

            Secret proceedings are not always in the best interest of the child.

          • Mattie

            The outcome of the court may not be in the child’s best interest, just as any court proceeding may not end the ‘right’ way, but the child has the right to privacy and to not have their name and situation all over the media.

          • cosmopolite

            Sometimes openness is the best way to prevent abuse of power by judges and prosecutors. Here in New Zealand, judicial proceedings are never secret, but name suppression is fairly easy to obtain, either by default, or at the request of one or both litigants.

    • cosmopolite

      I agree that the names of the mother and boy should have been redacted. But I rather doubt that the mother would have cooperated with this redaction, because she was hoping that a hue and cry, fueled by the MSM, would save her son’s foreskin.

  • AllieFoyle

    I don’t know…

    First of all, this is a private matter that should never have been made available for public consumption. Whatever the outcome, the publicity will probably be harmful or embarrassing to the child in the future, and the focus of the whole issue ought to be on the welfare of the child, not the rights of the parents or the agenda of some political organization.

    If the procedure is medically necessary, then it should be performed because that is in the best interest of the child. Otoh, it seems there is some disagreement between physicians about a diagnosis, with one suggesting a specific condition and another saying that the child would benefit in a more general way. Perhaps other doctors might disagree, or present alternate, less-invasive ways of treating him. If I were the mother, that’s what I’d pursue.

    It also seems to me that the mother initially agreed to the circumcision when the child was an infant, but the father failed to follow through on his obligation to arrange and pay for the procedure. I think there’s a case to be made that circumcising an infant is a different situation from circumcising an older child, both physically and psychologically. If the father had been acting in his child’s best interests, he would have had the procedure done earlier, when it almost certainly would have caused him less distress. Maybe the original agreement needs to be revisited now, in light of the age of the child, and with consideration of what is in his best interest, rather than arbitrarily enforcing an agreement made in his infancy that was never acted upon.

    Finally, it makes no sense to me that circumcision for religious, aesthetic, or cultural reasons is considered perfectly reasonable and acceptable, but having a belief in not violating bodily autonomy is somehow wacky or fetishist.

    • PickAUserNameForDisqus

      I agree with you, and I am VERY troubled by using a mother’s PAST consent as a tool to call her a wackadoo for changing her mind about consent. I doubt anyone here would actually want to say that if they once agreed to something they couldn’t change their mind. Changing consent based on changing circumstances is vitally important to autonomy. I agree we don’t know the private medical details and those should have remained private.

      • Wren

        The more I think about that, the more it bothers me. Giving consent to an infant circumcision does feel different to holding on to that consent to circumcise a child who is old enough to a) know what is going on and b) need general anaesthetic.
        We did not have our son circumcised, which isn’t surprising as we are non-religious and live in the UK. I would find it much easier to do to an infant than a pre-schooler though.

        • PickAUserNameForDisqus

          Yeah, and as I think even more about it I am very troubled by calling this woman crazy or belittling her behavior. Imagine this were about tonsils, and there was some pediatrician concern that the child’s tonsils might be giving him more infections, so the parent sought an ENT opinion, and the ENT disagreed with the infection Dx but said that it would give some benefit to the child because he would never get cancer of the throat, or some such other “soft” recommendation. (this is the imagination part). So, not medically necessary, but a “meh” decision. Now imagine a man who hasn’t paid any child support bullying his x-wife about getting the “meh” tonsillectomy. the risk of anesthesia. The miserable recovery period. Risk of infection. Etc Etc. Yes, I would fight the a-hole x-husband about this. and prior consent be damned.

      • Gatita

        That’s why I think both parents are assholes. This is something they should’ve been able to hash out privately like reasonable people instead of dad ramming it through and mom abducting her kid and lying to get into a shelter. And a giant bitchsmack to the judges for not being willing to renegotiate the custody agreement.

    • Sarah

      Excellent post.

      • Guestll

        Ditto. Particularly this: Finally, it makes no sense to me that circumcision for religious, aesthetic, or cultural reasons is considered perfectly reasonable and acceptable, but having a belief in not violating bodily autonomy is somehow wacky or fetishist.

        • SporkParade

          If it makes no sense to you, then my guess is that you have never met anyone from a circumcising culture who was not circumcised due to religious oppression.

          • Guestll

            And you would be wrong.

          • SporkParade

            In that case, you ought to know the deep sense of violation that they feel at not having been circumcised, even though they had no autonomy either way.

          • Guestll

            Actually, no. The men I’ve met in this context are far more concerned about basic survival. Why they weren’t circumcised is low on their list of things to ponder.

    • DiomedesV

      Is it the belief itself that is being treated as “wacky” or the behavior of people who hold this belief? Both parents are way out in left field, but lengths to which some intactivists will go to harass other people seems extreme.

      There is no question that this child is being victimized by both his parents.

      • Guestll

        When I lived in the US for 5 years, part of that time in a very conservative environment (military base) there were people who, when the topic came up (invariably in mother’s groups where the mothers were strongly in favour of RIC) thought I was strange for stating that I would not routinely circumcise a son, in part because I believe it’s a violation of bodily autonomy.

        I have no time or patience for intactivists.

      • AllieFoyle

        Well, both, I think. There are clearly some weird individuals who are fixated on this issue in a not very healthy way, but there are also plenty of rational people that see it as a violation of bodily autonomy, and their pretty reasonable beliefs tend to get dismissed because of guilt by association.

      • Maya Markova

        Ms. Hironimus was more than harassed by the pro-circ judge. She was jailed undefinitely until she “agreed” to sign “consent”, and she signed it handcuffed.

        • DiomedesV

          Ms. Hironimus abducted her child and kept him in a shelter for months. She is not a victim here. The child is.

    • Gatita

      Let me first say I give not one shit whether someone circumcises their kid or not. But I find the bodily autonomy argument to be inconsistent given that parents violate their children’s bodily autonomy all the time–from choosing their clothes and cutting their hair into gender-conforming styles, up to piercing their ears and even consenting to purely cosmetic surgeries such as ear pinning and facial surgeries for children who are born with cosmetic deformities.

      Parents have to choose whether or not the benefit gained from violating bodily autonomy is greater than the potential harm. Different parents will choose differently. I think the main reason people particularly freak out over the foreskin and not the other examples I gave is because it involves a sex organ. Otherwise, it fits right into the choices parents are making for their children all the time.

      • AllieFoyle

        But aside from correcting a deformity or treating a medical condition, when else do parents decide to irrevocably physically alter their children’s bodies? Your examples just aren’t equivalent. You can grow out your hair or change your clothing, but obviously you’re not going to undo a circumcision.

        I’m not hugely opposed to circumcision, but I think reasonable people can vary in their beliefs. It’s common here in the US, and the intactivists are kind of a fringe (sorry) group, but routine circumcision for non-religious purposes just isn’t performed in a lot of european countries, and people there do view it as strange and kind of barbaric.

        • Gatita

          Circumcision has medical benefits. It’s not just a purely cosmetic procedure. Unless you’re going to be like the intactivists and dismiss 30 years of research. And yes, of course people can vary in their beliefs, but you’re trying to put circumcision into a special category as though it’s different from other procedures parents choose for their children. It’s not except for cultural perceptions.

          • Wren

            I don’t deny the last 30 years of research, but it does kind of seem like the research has been done to justify the procedure and, in the majority of cases, the procedure is not a result of evidence for it.
            I do see circumcision as belonging in a different category to clothes or hair, because it is permanent. I guess it falls somewhere between pierced ears (which neither of my kids have) and a tonsillectomy (which mine also have not had). I had my tonsils out and tubes in my ears at 4, due to medical reasons of course. Making decisions about a child’s body is part of the job description for parents.

          • Gatita

            Making decisions about a child’s body is part of the job description for parents.

            This, exactly. Also, the AAP statement on circumcision: Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it.

          • Guestll

            No other pediatric association outside of the US in a developed country (aside from Israel) supports RIC.

          • Cobalt

            The AAP doesn’t say that circumcision should be routine (blanket recommendation for all babies without specific contraindications). They say it should be accessible to parents that choose it.

          • Guestll

            Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it.

          • Guestll

            If that isn’t support for RIC, I don’t know what is.

          • Cobalt

            Considering they used the words “families who choose it” and not “recommended as a routine procedure for most male babies”, I really don’t see what you’re calling support for RIC.

          • Guestll

            Semantics. The entire statement on circumcision is mealy-mouthed and contradictory.

            I love how the AAP is invariably referenced by pro-circ folks. Not everyone lives in America or agrees with the AAP’s findings. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2896.full.pdf+html

          • Gatita

            But that’s not the point. Regardless of whether you agree, there is medical support for circumcision and some parents will elect to circ with the support of the AAP–which is in keeping with a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their children.

          • AllieFoyle

            No one here disagrees with that.

          • Gatita

            Also, regarding American biases, there also happen to be strong anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim biases in Europe which can influence how the research for and against circumcision is viewed. Culture swings both ways.

          • Guestll

            Unlike, say, the anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim biases in the US.

          • Gatita

            Circumcision is not associated with Judaism and Islam in the same way it is in Europe. For example, U.S. Catholics mostly circumcise their children. My point is if you’re going to start slinging around culture at Americans like it’s a dirty word, maybe stop and think about your own cultural biases.

          • Guestll

            Uh, I don’t have any cultural biases around circumcision. Ingrained familial bias, yes, but nothing to do with Jew/Muslim/anything like that. I just think it’s wrong and it isn’t done in my family. White, Catholic, and English. In fact, both of my parents (one a nurse, the other a deceased physician) felt the same way. Bodily autonomy matters. It has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity or country of origin for me.

          • Gatita

            You may personally feel that way but the point I’m making is that people will reflexively make the argument that the AAP recommendation is driven purely by culture while ignoring the fact that Europeans associating circumcision with those dirty SLURS could also be a strong factor in why it’s not recommended in Europe.

          • AllieFoyle

            So what about Canada?

          • Gatita

            I don’t know enough about Canada to offer an opinion. But I didn’t say anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim accounted for all the opposition to circumcision. Again, the point is there are cultural biases all over the place so it’s simplistic to dismiss the AAP statement based solely on “cultural bias.”

          • AllieFoyle

            Pointing out that other countries make different recommendations is not dismissing the AAP statement. It’s just showing that reasonable people may differ.

          • Gatita

            Actually it is dismissing the AAP statement. And there are plenty of anti-circ people out there accusing the AAP of cultural bias. Some of them even get published in Pediatrics. But they never consider their own cultural biases when looking at the evidence.

          • Guestll

            No, it isn’t dismissing the AAP statement. It’s pointing out that every other governing body in the developed world has a differing take on this issue.

          • AllieFoyle

            Right. Only pro-circ people consider bias. Anti-circ people are too busy looking at porn to think about their own revolting biases.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Those nasty Jews and Muslims…no regard for bodily autonomy. Think of what they do to their OWN CHILDREN.

            ETA: a European saying he or she isn’t influenced by the Jew question and/or Muslim question when it comes to circ is like an American claiming to be “color blind”. Sure….

          • Guestll

            You’re putting words in my mouth and that’s patently unfair. Please don’t speak of my parents that way. You have no idea who they are or what they did for people, regardless of race, gender, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, none of it.

            That’s a cheap shot, I’m actually pretty surprised it’s coming from you.

          • Guestll

            Again, you have no idea of who my parents were, what they did for people, what their beliefs were. My father was actually ethnically half-Jewish, does that make it better for you? His family adopted Catholicism BECAUSE THEY WERE MURDERED FOR BEING JEWISH. You know fuck all about my family.

            And your analogy is so ridiculous, it doesn’t even merit discussion.

          • fiftyfifty1

            The point is that for a person to get on a high horse and call it “a violation of bodily autonomy” or an “ethics violation” makes those who choose to do it violators of bodily autonomy and violators of ethics. This has implications whether you intend it to or not, the sort of implications that historically have been used to justify taking rights away from religious minorities and even kill them (because you know they are little better than animals, they circ their babies and drink the blood of Christian babies etc etc.).

            You really sure you want to label 2 entire religions as being “Violators” and unethical or abusive for something as silly as 2 square cm of skin?

            And yes, my family tree contains a branch that converted from Judaism to Catholicism in the face of anti-Semitism too.

          • Guestll

            I’ll add “You know nothing about me or what I do” to the list. I work with people daily and have lived in areas where people engage in practices I consider to be unethical and even abhorrent. Nice facile leap on justifying taking away their rights or killing them.

            You’re the one labeling two entire religions as being “Violators” based on circumcision practices, not me.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “You’re the one labeling two entire religions as being “Violators” based on circumcision practices, not me.”

            How so? I am the one arguing that we should NOT elevate male circ to the level of a human rights violation.

          • Guestll

            You’re creating an argument I didn’t advance. I have stated that I believe it’s a violation of bodily autonomy. I have also stated that I am not an “intactivist”. This isn’t my hill to die on. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a strong opinion on the issue.

          • AllieFoyle

            Is there a religious tradition on earth that hasn’t violated someone’s bodily autonomy or had ethical violations committed in its name?

            And ethics is complicated. Bodily autonomy is a consideration, but it isn’t the only one. Perhaps the benefits of religious inclusion and group identity outweigh the drawbacks of giving up bodily autonomy in some situations. Maybe not in others. People can differ in where they draw the line.

            A non-religious person can believe that circumcision is a violation of bodily autonomy, and absent any compelling social or religious rationale, conclude that the ethical thing to do is not to circumcise. It can be a personal belief and not necessarily an indictment of the actions of others, who may be compelled by other factors specific to their own social and religious traditions, values, and beliefs.

            The same person can recognize the social and religious significance of other practices, but view the harm committed as too great to condone — much the way the western world struggles with the practice of FGM.

          • Gatita

            Except that you basically just Godwined the thread by bringing up FGM. Circumcision and FGM are not equivalent! FGM has no health benefits and permanently destroys a woman’s normal sexual function.

          • AllieFoyle

            I didn’t say they are equivalent. I said things are complicated. Fifty thinks you’re a racist anti-semite if you think circumcision is a violation of bodily autonomy. I disagree. Circumstances matter, degree matters. At the end of the day, it’s a judgement call.

          • Gatita

            That’s a mischaracterization of what Fifty’s saying. She’s pointing out that there’s an ugly history of anti-Semitism that is tied up with laws making it illegal to circumcise. And when you whip up anti-circ sentiment it’s easy to also whip up anti-Semetic and anti-Muslim sentiment.

          • AllieFoyle

            Am I really “whipping up anti-circ sentiment”? I thought I was just having a discussion.

          • Gatita

            General you. Though I think it’s disingenous of you to say that you’re just having a conversation when you’re clearly advocating strongly against the procedure.

          • Guestll

            There is a difference between having a strong personal belief about something, and advocating either for or against it.

          • Gatita

            I suppose, but if you’re vigorously arguing against a practice on an internet forum then I think that counts as advocating against.

          • Guestll

            Here is the difference: My belief is that RIC is a violation of bodily autonomy. I do not advocate for banning RIC, I believe that parents should have that choice available to them (although I support that my province’s health care program will not pay for that choice.)

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m not though. I don’t have any emotional attachment to it either way. Personally I think it’s a toss up and depends upon your personal circumstances. It’s a violation of bodily autonomy, but sometimes it’s permissible or even desirable to do things that violate personal autonomy. Is there a compelling religious or cultural reason to do it? Do you feel strongly about bodily autonomy? What’s the cultural norm? How pressing are the health issues?

          • Gatita

            You mean…we agree??? 😉

          • AllieFoyle

            Let’s not get excited.

          • Gatita

            http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/anti-semitism-and-germanys-movement-against-circumcision/266794/

            An article on intactivism and anti-Semitism in Germany. I’ve also attached a panel from an intactivist comic book called Foreskin Man. He’s fighting Monster Mohel. Edit: here’s a link to a Gawker post on Foreskin Man: http://gawker.com/5808669/support-anti-circumcision-bill-with-fun-anti-semitic-foreskin-man-comic

            http://cdn.spectator.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/PA-10987037.jpg

          • Medwife

            D:

          • Guestll

            She didn’t Godwin the thread, she’s pointing out that there are shades of grey. And she didn’t equate FGM and circumcision, you did.

            Look, I belong to a church whose (even recent) history quite frankly repulses me. I have a long and complicated relationship with my faith. Yet to a certain extent I still adhere to it and I will consider myself a Catholic until the day I die. Do I agree with everything the Church says or does? Absolutely not.

            Just because I believe that non-medically indicated infant circumcision is a violation of bodily autonomy doesn’t mean I revile Jews and/or Muslims. It’s not that simple.

          • Gatita

            I believe you. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a factor for other people. In fact, given the history of anti-Semitism and anti-circ laws, it would be foolish to think it’s not a factor.

          • Maya Markova

            In societies where FGM is practised, health benefits for it are claimed, too.

          • Megan

            But are those “claims” backed up by scientific research? The research on circumcision is good enough that parents should at least have a choice to circumcise.

          • AllieFoyle

            Right, thanks for going there…

            I suppose it’s also disgustingly intolerant to question FGM or widow burning or stoning or homophobia and other religious or culturally influenced practices.

          • Gatita

            Those practices aren’t equivalent to circumcision in the harm they cause and the potential benefit to the child.

          • fiftyfifty1

            It did go there because history HAS gone there, to disastrous consequences. In honest to goodness real life, circ bans have been used to persecute and kill jews. More than once during history. This is why we need to think carefully and wisely before pointing our fingers and claiming that others “lack ethics” or “violate children’s rights”. Do we want to save our self-rightousness for widow burning and stoning or shall we squander it on ear piercing, eh?

            ETA: even those that work to end FGA (like myself incidentally) don’t spend our time saying “You muslims violate your girls’ bodily autonomy, you lack ethics”. We have plenty of ammunition enough arguing against it from a health standpoint.

          • AllieFoyle

            Who here (besides parachuting intactivists) is claiming that anyone lacks ethics or violates children’s rights? Or that Jews and Muslims have no regard for bodily autonomy? No one. It’s a straw man. Just discussing the ethical implications of certain practices does not make someone a racist or anti-semite or whatever else you’re trying to imply.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Who here (besides parachuting intactivists) is claiming that anyone lacks ethics or violates children’s rights? ”

            My comments were in reply to this:

            “I don’t have any cultural biases around circumcision..[…]… nothing to do with Jew/Muslim/anything like that.”

            (I argue this is impossible. The choice to circ or not is never made in a cultural vacuum. And European tastes surrounding circ are inarguably influenced by its history with Jews and Muslims)

            and this:

            “I just think it’s wrong …[…]…Bodily autonomy matters. ”

            (I argue that labeling it as “wrong” and raising it to the level of a bodily autonomy violation is likely to have unintended consequences.)

          • AllieFoyle

            So because there has historically been anti-semitism and anti-muslim sentiment, it’s dangerous for someone to feel that circumcision is wrong or to feel that it is a violation of bodily autonomy?

            I think that censoring people’s beliefs because you are afraid of the possible implications is more dangerous to society.

            You may have a point about european tastes being related to historical beliefs about Jews and Muslims, but that’s probably not the only, or perhaps even the most important, factor. The popularization of human rights in the last few centuries, especially post WWII, and changing social norms have probably also played a large role. Corporal punishment used to be almost universally unquestioned and now it’s fallen out of favor and is even illegal in some places. Child labor laws, women’s rights, animal rights… as a society, we’re becoming more concerned with the rights of individuals and groups that have historically not been protected. Concern about circumcision before the age of consent seems like a logical outgrowth of that kind of thought, rather than some anachronistic religious or ethnic intolerance.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “So because there has historically been anti-semitism and anti-muslim sentiment, it’s dangerous for someone to feel that circumcision is wrong or to feel that it is a violation of bodily autonomy?”

            What I feel is dangerous is being ignorant of history, and thus being at risk of repeating it.

            When people (especially Europeans) claim that there is no way that Jewish or Muslim cultural preferences have in any way influenced their own, warning bells ought to go off. When Europeans claim their circ choice is all about human rights and bodily autonomy and a higher sense of ethics evolving, I roll my eyes. It’s a self serving retroactive explanation for doing what they want to anyway. Much more honest would be “We are not Jews or Muslims and if we did this, people would think we were freaks, cause only Jews and Muslims do that, and people like US are intact”. It’s like names. Americans name their kids a bunch of Old Testament names, but this trend has never caught on in Europe. Because, you know those are Jewish names. Hell, even something as “meaningless” as the Spanish love of ham has its historical roots in anti-semitism and anti-muslim. Eating pork proved you were Christian. 500+ years later and they still love them some ham…

          • Guestll

            Thanks for outing yourself as a narrow-minded cynic, apparently devoid of the ability to view individuals separate from their historic background.

            You did make me laugh, though. I have a OT name. So do 4 of 5 of my siblings.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “You did make me laugh, though. I have a OT name. So do 4 of 5 of my siblings.”

            Aren’t you the one with the Jewish family that converted to Catholicism when they were being killed? Think there might be a reason your sibs got named OT names considering that the Jewish tradition is to name babies after family members that have died? Or did your parents choose names as “individuals separate from their historical background?” As if such a thing exists.

          • Guestll

            We aren’t named after anyone who died. We are named because my parents liked the name Eve (the eldest) and from there they went with an Old Testament theme for the subsequent kids, with the exception of one who has a Gaelic name that does honour a family member. I guess it’s too bad my parents didn’t say OMG BUT THE JOOS so they’d fit into your rigid narrative.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well, there goes that theory I guess. Eve is an OT name, but not a Jewish one. Names like Elijah are the ones that you see all the time in the US and never in Europe (unless it is a Jew).

          • Guestll

            Eve is definitely a Jewish name, the Hebrew is Chawwah. Elijah is currently a trending name in the UK, climbing in popularity (google it if you don’t believe me.) So are Noah, Reuben, and Ethan. My father, the ethnic half-Jew, had a non-Christian name, non-religious name that is now strongly favoured by both Jews and Christians. My mother, who is Irish Catholic, is named Naomi because her mother liked its meaning – though she went by her easier to say middle name because her sister could not pronounce “Naomi.”

            I just don’t think the world is as black and white as you seem to feel it is. It’s certainly not been my experience.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, Eve (and Ava etc) are the Christian versions of that person’s name vs. Chawwah/Chawah etc for Jews. It’s not the same name, even if it is the same person.

            Perhaps Europe is softening on its historic anti-semitism and I am not aware. What I am aware of is friends who have named their children OT names that Jews commonly use (Levi, Isaiah etc) being criticized by their European relatives and asked “Are you Jewish?” by people they meet when they travel to the UK.

            Europe simply has a different relationship with anti-semitism and anti-muslim than the US does. Not that the US doesn’t have its own issues, but our issues have a very different history. France sees it as fine to try to ban Muslim scarves. This is the last thing that would be accepted in the US. It’s just very different, and to not recognize those differences and claim that our opinions (from naming to eating to circ) are “just our own” and not influenced by the culture we live and breathe every day leaves us blind to own own biases.

          • AllieFoyle

            You are vastly simplifying issues to bolster your own viewpoint. Your friends’ examples prove nothing. If old testament names are traditionally given only to Jews, is it wrong to expect that they signify someone is Jewish? Are people not supposed to notice or acknowledge religious or ethnic differences? Maybe we’re all supposed to be like Stephen Colbert and “not see” race or ethnicity.

            Europe is a large and diverse place. There are bigots and there are people who value inclusiveness, human rights, and religious freedom, just as in any other part of the world. It’s absurdly reductionist to say “France” is fine with banning head scarves when there are people in favor and people against. It’s one of the issues that people have to work out as people from different cultures with different values and traditions increasingly come to exist in the same societies. And this is not specific to Europe either:

            http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/muslim-woman-thrown-jail-refusing-remove-head-scarf

            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec-court-supports-judge-who-refused-case-unless-hijab-removed/article23229155/

            http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/10/us/aboard-flights-conflicts-over-seat-assignments-and-religion.html?_r=0

            If you have all the answers, please let me know. And fwiw, here’s my counter-anecdote: The Europeans I know are mostly secular, well educated, and socially and politically engaged. Their social world is very much a mix of people from different ethnic and religious traditions, with many close friendships, dating relationships, and even marriages between people from different backgrounds.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Your friends’ examples prove nothing. If old testament names are traditionally given only to Jews, is it wrong to expect that they signify someone is Jewish?”
            The point is not that the people asking about the “Jewish names” are bigots. The point is that Europe sees these names as “Jewish names” while the US doesn’t. Europe has a vastly different and much more fraught relationship with religious minorities than the US does. This is indisputable. To believe that this history can not and could not manifest itself in present day cultural preferences is a form of self-deception. That was Gatita’s point, and a good one.
            The analogous situation here in the US is race. The US has a vastly different and much more fraught relationship to those of African ancestry than most of Europe has. Here if you were white and you named your kids Leroy or Jemima , you would get asked a lot of questions. Once again, not out of intentional bigotry. But why do these names sound “black” here, but not in the UK? Because of our screwed up history of course.

          • Guestll

            “The point is not that the people asking about the “Jewish names” are bigots. The point is that Europe sees these names as “Jewish names” while the US doesn’t” – It’s a nice theory you’re running with based on the reaction of some bigoted friends of friends, but the name popularity lists don’t support it. Maybe these people are just assholes, and not representative of Europeans as an entity.

            http://www.behindthename.com/top/lists/england-wales/2013

          • fiftyfifty1

            Hve you seen the American list? No comparison.

          • AllieFoyle

            What is that supposed to prove? That Europeans as a people are hopelessly bigoted?

            Do you think maybe it reflects the fact that Europeans are increasingly secular, while fundamentalist christianity is popular in large swaths of the US?

          • fiftyfifty1

            That’s part of it too. But it still doesn’t expalin the whole OT/NT preference disparity. Must we really pretend we don’t know history? There are European countries that until recently *required* Christain babies to have saints’ names and only allowed “Jewish names’ for Jewish children. Such laws have never been in place in the US.
            Please tell me if you disagree with the following:
            Europe has a history with religious minorities that is different and much more fraught than the US’s history.

          • AllieFoyle

            There are plenty of names that sound “jewish” to the american ear as well. Is that proof that pervasive and ineradicable anti-semitism is behind every individual belief here too? In what way does a baby name popularity chart preclude individuals from having principled beliefs that aren’t based in racism or anti-semitism?

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” In what way does a baby name popularity chart preclude individuals from having principled beliefs that aren’t based in racism or anti-semitism?”
            None at all, and I’ve never claimed otherwise. What I HAVE argued is that it is self-deception to believe that our tastes and priciples are de novo values that we have dreamed up individually without extensive cultural input. Guestll claimed that her preference for no-circ had “nothing to do” with any history of anti-semitism. I find such a claim impossible to believe. You don’t have to be personally a bigot for your tastes (from penis modifications, to names, to love of bacon) to have been deeply influenced by your culture.

          • Guestll

            Isaiah and Levi are both becoming popular name choices for boys in the UK.

            My parents did not name my sister Chawwah or Chavah for the same reason they did not name her Vasiliki or Awurama. They gave her a Biblical OT name easily pronounced in their native tongue.

            You said: “It’s like names. Americans name their kids a bunch of Old Testament names, but this trend has never caught on in Europe. Because, you know those are Jewish names.” This is demonstrably false, two minutes on the googles will tell you otherwise. I guess all of the Sarahs, Hannahs, Leahs, Rachels, Abigails, Aarons, Davids, Calebs, on goes the list, they don’t exist.

            As for the rest, I am not denying that antisemitism and anti-Muslim exist in Europe. I am simply stating that the reasons my family chooses not to circumcise have nothing to do with that. It is entirely possible not to want to routinely circumcise an infant based on the belief that his body is his own and it’s his right to choose, without being an anti-Semite or anti-Muslim. Apparently this is beyond belief to you because making choices based on ethical beliefs is not possible in your world. Oddly, you are a physician. As the daughter of one and the sister of two, I find that very odd indeed.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well we will have to agree to disagree. You believe you can make choices that have “nothing to do” with the history that has shaped the culture you live in. You believe that your values and tastes are shaped by de novo individual thought and just happen to line up with the cultural choices of others in your demographic. I, in contrast, don’t believe we can divorce ourselves from the cultures we breathe, even when we want to.
            And I do still think names are an excellent example. Levi and Isaiah may be on the rise in the UK, but they are top 50 popularity here in the US. Here a full 5 of the top 10 and roughly half of the top 50 boys names are OT. The UK has a few scattered in among the Alfies and Freddies (As an aside, I love those British boys’ names. They are what we choose in our family. My sibs and I are crazy about them for our kids. Too much Wodehouse growing up I suppose.)

          • Guestll

            No, that is not at all what I believe. Of course our values and tastes are shaped by the culture we live in. I am Canadian, I was born here, but have lived in the USA, the UK, and Africa. I am the result of all kinds of cultural, historical, and familial influence. I would never deny that. Nor do I deny Europe’s terrible history of anti-Semitism.

            What I do deny is that my family’s choice to not circumcise is based on hatred for a religion or group of people. That is untrue, whether you believe it or not.

          • fiftyfifty1

            I never once said your family’s choice to not circ was based on your family hating a religious group. What I said is the following:
            1. The general European preference for no-circ has historic roots in anti-semitism. Certainly the reason given today is bodily autonomy, but the preference for no-circ existed long before concerns about children’s rights was a trend. My point is that it would be much more honest if Europeans could acknowledge their past history of anti-circ laws and what drove them.
            2. That I believe that raising the decision to circ to the level of a “violation of bodily autonomy” or a “violation of human rights” will have unintended consequences. The natural outcome is going to be that Jews and Muslims are “othered” and dehuminized and labeled as unethical violators. There is already a sizable enough group that wants to do this anyway, and it just feeds into their prejudices (I’m not saying YOU are a part of this group).

          • Maya Markova

            So you say that the preference of Europeans is based on hatred, but not that of your opponent’s family, because, you know, offensive things do not apply to those present.

          • fiftyfifty1

            No, my point is that the cultural roots of a preference may be inarguably prejudiced while at the same time individuals may vary in their level of bias.

            An example from the US is neighborhoods. American neighborhoods show a lot of racial segregation, and this goes way back. It’s due to racism. A modern white person, on the other hand, may express different reasons that they have chosen an all-white neighborhood. Some may choose it because they are racist and would never live next to a black person. Another person may be fine with living next to a black person, but has a strong preference to live in a low crime neighborhood, and most low-crime neighborhoods are heavily white. The first person is racist, the second isn’t. But the second person would be deceiving themselves to say “My choice of a neighborhood had absolutely nothing to do with race” because it does. Because the historical reason that the neighborhoods segregated in the first place is based entirely on racism.

          • Medwife

            And let’s be honest, if it weren’t for other areas of the country looking on and giving negative attention, plenty of places would have have enough support to ban Muslim head scarves. Say as a city ordinance.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Which country are you referring to?

          • Medwife

            The US.

          • fiftyfifty1

            It may be that there are towns here in the US that would like to create such bans, but what’s keeping them from doing it isn’t the possibility of negative attention. It’s that such a law or ordinance could not exist here. It’s Amendment I of our Bill of Rights. It’s why the US’s relationship to religious minorities is fundamentally different than Europe’s.

          • Maya Markova

            In my (European) language, a name ending at “a” is not suited for a male.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m kind of insulted on behalf of all the Europeans I know now. Maybe it’s just weird to them because they don’t do it and they don’t see any justification for doing it outside of religious tradition. Does it really need to be some horrible insidious racism or anti-semitism?

          • Guestll

            Yes, it totally does on PlanetFiftyFifty! On behalf of ALL EUROPEANS who don’t circumcise, we don’t do it because Jews and Muslims are bad and dirty and who wants to be like them!

          • fiftyfifty1

            It’s not an insult, it’s just the remnants of history. Pretending they aren’t there doesn’t make them go away. UK parents love the name Jemima. USA parents don’t. Pretending we don’t know the reasons behind this preference gets us nowhere.

          • AllieFoyle

            So if a European thinks that circumcision is a violation of bodily autonomy it’s definitely because he’s deluded by the racist, anti-semitic, anti-muslim remnants of history?

          • fiftyfifty1

            Naw, it’s just that the preference for an uncut penis is longstanding (just as the preference for New Testament names and eating bacon are longstanding) and based in anti-muslim and anti-jewish history whether you know it or not. And now it’s oh-so-easy to deny that your preferences are based on anything other than pure elevated ethical reasoning (and the lovely sounds of the name and the delicious taste of the ham). And oh, by the way, there is no way that the current Muslim tensions could have ANY bearing at all. It’s just that, you know, it’s important for parents to care about the bodily autonomy of their children.

          • AllieFoyle

            So what? Lots of preferences have historical precedents. That doesn’t mean that I’m making a political statement or DENIGRATING A RELIGION OR PEOPLE because I eat shellfish or name my child Kelvin in 2015.

          • fiftyfifty1

            So what?
            Unintended consequences, that’s what. Being unaware of history puts us at risk to repeat it.
            For example they passed a law within the last few years in Germany outlawing infant circ. I found that chilling, and so did a lot of other people. International concerns (mainly US and Isreali) got the law removed. But the Germans kept insisting that all it was was concern for the rights of children, wanting to prevent bodily autonomy violations, “higher ethics” etc. No sense of how tone-deaf the law was, considering Germany’s history of oppressing and killing Jews through anti-circ laws (going back not just to the Holocaust, but also to other oppressive anti-semitic times dating to previous centuries).

          • Maya Markova

            No, this “preference” was in Europe before there were any Jews in Europe and before there were any Muslims anywhere. It seems your implication is that every sane person would see how great circumcision is unless blinded by bigotry.

          • fiftyfifty1

            My implication has never been that all sane people will prefer circ. Average sane people tend to prefer what their cultures tend to prefer.

            But I do ask myself, if it’s just a simple “preference” why do Europeans go to such pains to say that they chose not to circ out of “concerns for bodily autonomy” and “an elevated sense of ethics”? Why not just prefer it, choose it, and be done with it? It’s almost like they are trying to make a POINT or something, as if to distinguish themselves from other people. Weird don’t you think?

          • Cobalt

            I think circumcision is a bodily autonomy violation, but a violation within the rights of parents to make, just like a thousand other “violations” parents have to make decisions about.

            Cribs, safety locks, diaper changes, feeding, bedtimes, vaccines, car seats, clothing, all are choices we have to make for the kid, because the kid isn’t competent to choose. THAT’S WHAT PARENTS ARE FOR. Turning normal parenting into mutilation, butchery, food rape, imprisonment, assault, and oppression is ridiculous.

          • Maya Markova

            As far as I know, native Europeans have never circumcised, even before any Jews settled in Europe and before there was such a religion as Islam. I don’t know why this, let’s say, cultural tradition of Europeans is taken as evidence of their bigotry. Explanations and justifications are to be provided for cosmetic surgery, not for not doing cosmetic surgery.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “I don’t know why this, let’s say, cultural tradition of Europeans is taken as evidence of their bigotry.”

            Oh it’s never been the decision not to circ that has been taken as evidence of bigotry. What’s been taken as evidence of bigotry is all the anti-circ laws that Europe has passed over the centuries that it has used to persecute religious minorities.

          • Guestll

            Do you have a citation for “US Catholics mostly circumcise their children” ?

          • Gatita

            I don’t but I did find an interesting report from the CDC that lists circumcision rates by region in the U.S. from the 70s to 2010. The rates are highest in the Midwest and South which are overwhelmingly Christian (though not necessarily Catholic). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/circumcision_2013/circumcision_2013.pdf

          • Guestll

            Right, so you just made that up about US Catholics and their children.

            Most Catholics worldwide aren’t circumcised. There’s no evidence that Catholics in the US are highly inclined to circumcise their children.

          • Gatita

            No, I didn’t make it up. I remember reading it somewhere and I can’t find a cite for it, so I could be misremembering. But I was raised Catholic in the Northeast U.S. in the 70s and the norm was circumcising your newborn.

          • Guestll

            Yes, it was the CULTURAL norm. It was not the religious norm. It never has been for the Church. In fact paragraph 2297 of the Catechism expressly forbids deliberate mutilation, and many Catholics I’ve known have interpreted/extended that teaching to routine circumcision.

          • Gatita

            I never said it was the religious norm just that it was very common in practice.

          • Guestll

            You did say it’s a religious norm. You said that “US Catholics mostly circumcise their children.” Present tense.

          • Cobalt

            It’s a US norm, not a specifically Catholic one. US Catholics don’t circumcised because they’re Catholic, they do it because they’re American.

          • guestll

            Yes, which is what I was attempting to point out. It is a cultural tradition, not a Catholic one as Gatita asserted.

          • Cobalt

            She asserted that circumcision in the US was not related to religion nearly so strongly as it is in Europe, then gave an example of a religious group that doesn’t typically circumcise in the rest of the world, but does in America for cultural, not religious, reasons.

            The assertion that it was a cultural, not religious, tradition was Gatita’s point.

          • Mariana Baca

            The Midwest and The South are overwhelmingly Christian, but have the lowest rates of Catholics in the country. The Northeast and California have the largest dioceses in the country.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Gatita makes an important point. The anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim biases/history of oppression in the US vs. Europe are very, very different. For instance, there are European countries with histories of passing anti-circ laws in order to oppress and even kill Jews. No such laws have ever existed in the US. Ignoring this important history is a big mistake, just as it would be a mistake to say that the US shouldn’t worry about it’s anti-black racism because Europeans sometimes discriminate against those of African ancestry also. Nope.

          • Maya Markova

            In my country, 30 years ago, there was an anti-Muslim campaign and a few parents were jailed for illegally circumcising their children (which they could not do legally, as now Ms. Hironimus cannot legally NOT circumcise her son).
            Later, the dictatorship ended, and Muslims can now circumcise freely. Most of them do it, some who moved to big cities don’t. Some who remained in small towns and villages admit that they do it to appease the neighbors.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Some who remained in small towns and villages admit that they do it to appease the neighbors.”

            Or maybe they appease you by saying they do it only to appease the neighbors?

          • Maya Markova

            No, because I never ask about such things.

          • Maya Markova

            Also, it is in the logic of the situation. People in small towns and villages have less autonomy than in cities. They are expected to follow the taboos of their nominal religion and on important holidays and family occasions to invite and feed dozens of people they do not necessarily like. Particularly about circumcision, the tradition of our Muslims is to do it at age 3-5 years, then to throw a big party with the recovering child in the center. Some young secular couples want none of this and if they have moved to a big city, they can afford to live their lives as they choose. (Most people in my country are secular. However, many of the older generations love to boss young people around and use religious traditions as a pretext.)

          • fiftyfifty1

            Oh my goodness Maya, different generations disagreeing about traditions and the older generation trying to boss around the younger?! How wonderful that they have a strong willed person like yourself to step into their culture, point out their dysfunctions and set them straight.

          • Nick Sanders

            Why are you comparing a third party preventing a joint parental decision to a dispute between the parents over what to do? It’s not remotely the same.

          • demodocus

            True, but milder with Jews. We have a huge non-white population (percentage-wise as well as numbers) that tends to be the hatred-focus for the dominant Anglo-American culture.

          • Maya Markova

            We may be as biased as you like, but I think a visible epidemic of UTI, AIDS or penile cancer in Europe would force us to reconsider our biases.
            Of course, there is no such thing in sight.

          • Cobalt

            That’s not semantics. That’s you redefining words to mean something other than what is clearly stated.

          • demodocus

            Semantics are important here.

          • Gatita

            No, it isn’t. If they meant RIC, it would read something like the Hep B recommendation:

            Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine. (Minimum age: birth)
            Routine vaccination: At birth:
            • Administer monovalent HepB vaccine to all newborns before hospital discharge.

            Source: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

          • demodocus

            The newest version of the AAP parenting book says a variation of “it is somewhat more beneficial for your son to be circumcised than not, but it’s completely up to you. The benefits aren’t so big that we’d make a blanket recommendation”

        • Cobalt

          An awful lot of breastfed babies get lip and tongue ties snipped. Since needing the revisions done is pretty rare in bottle fed babies, it could easily be argued that those parents are choosing it for the convenience of forgoing bottles and the surgery is unnecessary.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, and it’s painful, irreversible, and has arguably minimal if any benefits for the baby.

          • AllieFoyle

            I know nothing about that, but assume it’s recommended by medical professionals to help the baby eat successfully — a benefit which is realized immediately, while the potential health benefits of circumcision are largely seen after the age of consent.

          • fiftyfifty1

            No, babies eat just fine with a tongue tie from a bottle (or from their mother’s breast if she doesn’t mind the discomfort).

          • Megan

            I was under the impression that in some cases of tongue tie the baby’s ability to transfer milk during breastfeeding can be compromised, leading to poor weight gain. I don’t necessarily disagree with your premise. Just pointing that out. Obviously though one could argue that the mother could just bottle feed and that the pain to the baby isn’t worth the small benefits of breastfeeding.

          • Cobalt

            Or even feed breast milk in the bottle. You don’t even have to use formula.

          • Megan

            I know that was the point I totally agree with both of you. I’ve never quite understood why intactivists think someone else’s penis is their business.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Exactly. It’s something that, in my opinion, should be within a parent’s right to choose, despite there being several alternatives to having the procedure done. But why is intactivism such a thing and all the parents piling up to claim “bodily autonomy” and not a peep about tongue or lip tie, that’s Cobalt’s point, and a good one.

          • AllieFoyle

            Because nobody cares about his …whatever it is…tongue bit, or whatever… but people generally care about their genitals and often don’t like them altered without their consent, particularly absent a compelling reason. I think a lot of people would consider the ability to breastfeed a compelling reason, even if you don’t, just as some people consider religious tradition or STD prevention good reasons to circumcise.

          • Megan

            My husband is grateful he’s circumcised. I don’t think it’s accurate to say that “generally” everyone feels that way. You are entitled to your opinions about the procedure but I don’t see why anyone gets to have an opinion about someone else’s child and his penis.

          • AllieFoyle

            I mean that people have their own opinions about their own penises. And people can have opinions about what they should do for their own children. Is your husband also grateful to have an intact um, tongue thing? No, he probably doesn’t care. And I don’t even particularly care at all about either issue — I just think people can be against circumcision (for themselves, for their own children, theoretically, whatever) without being whackaloons.

          • Gatita

            Is anyone arguing otherwise? The argument is over whether circumcision should be banned not whether a sane individual can choose not to for their child.

          • AllieFoyle

            It’s over whether circumcision should be banned? I thought we were discussing this specific case, not whether the procedure should be banned entirely.

          • Cobalt

            Down thread there’s a lot of “it’s butchery” “mutilation” “it will be banned” talk from visiting intactivists. I know that wasn’t your implication at all, but it’s a threat that’s been made.

          • Megan

            Well considering he doesn’t have a tongue tie he couldn’t care less about his frenulum. Kids who have severe tongue ties and don’t get the procedure done can have speech problems and I’m sure they care about that though. So it can have consequences aside from breastfeeding. Regardless, my only point is that it is unwise to generalize about how an entire group feels about their genitals and that parents have the right to choose to circumcise their sons and that wouldn’t be anyone else’s business.

          • AllieFoyle

            Frenulum, thank you.

            I’m not saying that all men feel the same way about it. Obviously they don’t. Just pointing out that genitals tend to be more evocative than frenulums. And I agree that parents have the right to circumcise and that it’s no one’s business but theirs and the child’s.

          • Cobalt

            True, but integrity demands consistency. If you’re going to campaign against circumcision on a bodily autonomy platform, you have to have equal condemnation for frenulum revisions or your whole platform fails.

            And I mean the general “you”, not you specifically.

          • AllieFoyle

            I’m sure that would be an easy sell for the intactivists.

          • Cobalt

            They vigorously defend pendulum revisions, generally speaking. Intactivism is rapidly becoming a “natural parenting” badge to earn, so if it’s even vaguely pro breastfeeding, it’s approved.

          • Empliau

            Pendulum is awesome, given the topic of the discussion.

          • Megan

            “but people generally care about their genitals and often don’t like them altered without their consent, particularly absent a compelling reason. I think a lot of people would consider the ability to breastfeed a compelling reason.”

            This statement suggests to me that you feel most men prefer not to be circumcised. Do you know this for fact across the board? I know many men who are thankful for their circumcisions and some men who are not circumcised who wish they were. And I’m sure men’s views about their own circumcised or uncircumcised penises vary widely between cultures. You just can’t generalize about how anyone feels about it.

          • Maya Markova

            Yes, and in this case, it is also the mother’s business.

          • Maya Markova

            But for the mother featured in the post, the child is hers. Practically, what we see here is the mother deprived of any parental rights, as in the bad old days and in some present-day countries where no one of us would want to live.

          • Nick Sanders

            Where is abduction sat down as a parental right?

          • Maya Markova

            When the other parent is abusive.

          • Nick Sanders

            Nope, we have a court system for that.

          • Megan

            I wasn’t even talking about the mother in this post. I don’t like to speculate about particular sensational cases like this because we rarely know the whole story due to confidentiality/HIPAA, etc. I was merely saying that 1) another parents choice to circumcise their child or not is their business and no one else’s and 2) you cannot generalize and speak for all men regarding how they feel about being circumcised or not. It’s an individual thing.

          • AllieFoyle

            But you don’t really think it’s a big deal, right? And it’s a decision that needs to be made in early infancy for any benefit to be realized, unlike, say, preventing STDs or penile cancer through circumcision.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Well, the main health benefit of circ to males in developed countries is prevention of UTI/pylonephritis/urosepsis in the first 12 months of life. These are low in numbers, but the consequences are serious including permanent kidney injury and even death. These infections happen at a time when kids get fevers frequently from viruses, and the kid can’t say “it hurts when I pee” or show the problem through incontinence (since they are incontinent already) so the problem may not be recognized until damage is done. Certainly riskier that the manufactured “risk” of formula feeding.

          • AllieFoyle

            So I wonder if there is a higher rate of such damage in developed countries with low circumcision rates. There is also the risk of the procedure itself to consider, though I imagine it is very low too.

          • Cobalt

            The benefits in developed countries outweigh the risks, but by a very thin margin. Hence the recommendations to not restrict access to the procedure but not advocate for its routine performance either.

          • Medwife

            My feeling- totally not based on any data- is that the rate might be higher in countries with high circumcision rates. Knowledge about how to do hygeine for an intact boy might be lacking and might mean more force able retractions.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Hmm. I would for sure want some numbers on that, because that’s not been my experience at all. The male infant UTIs that I have seen in my career have all been in un-circ’ed boys from cultures where intact penises are the norm and the normal hygiene does not involve any attempts to retract the foreskin.
            This “they must be washing it wrong and forcing the skin back or else he wouldn’t have got the UTI” rationalization that intactivists make is similar to how NCB looneys always claim that any birth complications must be from interventions so any woman that has one must have brought it upon herself by doing something wrong and unnatural. Because otherwise there would be cognitive dissonance.

          • Cobalt

            The argument for circumcision in infancy as opposed to later is that the risks go up as the tissue becomes more developed. If it’s going to be done the best time for it, medically, is in early infancy.

          • Megan

            That and you would also incur the risks (and cost) of general anesthesia of the procedure was done later. Newborns can get circumcised with local anesthesia.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Seriously, the recovery time and discomfort associated with the procedure as an adult actually factored into battle strategy in the Bible. Genesis chapter 34 if you’re interested. Kind of messed up but brilliant at the same time.

            Long story short and very simplified, Dinah, one of Israel’s daughters, was raped by local men and her brothers Simeon and Levi weren’t happy about that at all and wanted revenge.

            So the man who raped Dinah still wanted her but Levi and Simeon told him that he and his people would have to be part of the covenant to wed Dinah. This includes circumcision. So the guy had all the men in his city circumcised and when they were in the painful recovery, Simeon and Levi went and killed all the men while they were in too much pain to fight back.

            Then they looted the city because most of Israel/Jacob’s sons weren’t all that good at the thinking things through life skill.

            Seriously even if you’re not religious, the Bible is a good read just for the stories. Just skip Leviticus since, as the name would imply, it was law for the Levite priests and not the general population. People today seem to forget that. Also unless you really, really like genealogy, skip Numbers.

          • Medwife

            Skip Leviticus? No way! That’s a fascinating read and unfortunately shapes current culture to a surprising extent. Sorry, a bit OT.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Oh it is amazingly interesting, especially from a cultural perspective. And unfortunately it does shape a lot of today’s arguments. Context is important, people! I’m religious but I try to follow the highest commandments given by Christ himself in the New Testament of “Love God” and “Love thy neighbor.” It doesn’t mean I have to agree with my neighbor but it does mean I need to be kind to them as they are my brothers and sisters. You do your thing and I’ll do mine and as long as we’re not hurting anyone we’re all good, yeah?

            If you’re just reading for stories though, other Books are better at keeping interest. I like the whole thing through since it gives you an idea of how the society developed.

          • Cobalt

            There’s good stuff in Numbers, too. Like taking your wife to a priest for a medical abortion as a fidelity test. If she drinks the bitter herbs and still has a baby, it’s yours, if she doesn’t then she was unfaithful.

          • Medwife

            Now Deuteronomy, that’s what I remember as a dry read. I did read it through because I was determined to read THE WHOLE DANG BIBLE start to finish. And I never have to do it again!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            But what if she weights less than a duck?

          • anh

            mine couldn’t. she couldn’t form a seal over the bottle and formula or breast milk would dribble out

          • Wren

            My son had a tongue tie that went undiagnosed until 10 months. There was discomfort/pain frequently while breastfeeding (for me) and it did affect his ability to breastfeed and likely led to earlier weaning once my oversupply was balanced out. It did affect him in other ways though, like being unable to lick an ice cream and probably impacting his speech, despite it being dealt with before he was speaking much at all. At least that is what 2 separate speech therapists have claimed. So yeah, a bottle would have sorted the first problem but there would still have been other negative effects.

          • Cobalt

            There are kids that have a tongue tie that NEED revision, like what you’re describing. But the rate of revisions is so much higher in breastfed babies, with no corresponding negative outcome for the low rate in bottle fed babies, that it points to most of those revisions being unnecessary in terms of long term health. I’m not convinced a lot of them are even beneficial for breastfeeding, for every story about how it helped there’s one where it made no difference whatsoever.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        All of this plus the cultural implications. I’m not for or against circumcision as I believe that is up to the parents. I don’t think cosmetic reasons is the best reason to do so but pathological processes, hygiene concerns, or cultural rite is another issue altogether.

        If it’s a minor procedure that doesn’t really cause lasting damage but is part of a cultural heritage, I don’t think it’s my place to step in.

        Ta moko from the Maori culture is part rite of passage, part genealogical and ranking symbolism. However in cultures that do not practice tattooing, this rite of passage can prevent them from getting a job. Only recently has there been a resurgence.

        The Kayak people practice body modification by the optical illusion of elongating the neck by pressing the collar bones, rib cage, and shoulders downward using coiled rings. Some girls receive their first rings around two years of age. Definitely not old enough to consent. I don’t see crusades against this type of body modification. It’s controversial in Burma as some want to ban the practice to appear more modernized but the women who wear the rings say that it is part of their cultural identity. They can take the rings off and while the muscles are a little weaker, after three days most that remove their rings say most of the discomfort is gone.

        Jews circumcise because it is the symbol of the covenant Abraham made with God that they are Jehova’s people and Abraham’s progeny, in a literal sense or spiritual sense, are part of that covenant. Part of the covenant made with God was the promise of prosperity and numerous progengy from his line so I don’t think it was to curb sexual appetite. It didn’t work anyways if you follow the Old Testament. There was a looooot of boning going on. I mean have you -read- Song of Solomon? It was also a symbol to differentiate themselves from the many other religions and cultures in the area.

        I don’t think circumcision is meant to emasculate a man when performed as a cultural right. It’s every bit as important as those neck rings, the Ta Moko, earrings, or nose rings are to their cultural identity and with the increasing homogenization of the world, I don’t think it’s right to disallow a practice that is a minor cosmetic difference with no proven lasting harm. Some may end up having an issue but that’s true of just about anything. Wearing the wrong shoes could mess up your feet for life but we don’t ban shoes.

        I think it’s hard for a lot of us that are white Heinz 57s like myself to understand a cultural identity like that. Most families of mixed white ancestry don’t really carry over much of their ancestors’ culteral identity outside of a few recipes or traditions, at least from my own observations and what I’ve learned in anthropology and sociology classes and circles.

        We’ve kind of developed our cultural traditions now. Superbowl Sunday could be a cultural tradition for Americans if you think about it. Our culture of access to guns and our free speech is also part of our cultural identity. Heaven forbid someone try to take away our guns because it’s part of America. But why is it okay for us to take away the culteral identities of others? I don’t think that’s right at all.

    • Cobalt

      I agree with what your saying in a general sense (especially with how both of these parents are focused on something other than the child’s welfare), but disagree with the last paragraph. I’ve never seen someone called wacky or fetishist for choosing not to circumcise for respect for bodily autonomy in the absence of medical need.

      People get accused of wacky fetishism when they start telling other people what choices they should make and inventing bogus risks.

      Don’t want to electively circumcise? Your choice. Don’t want to use formula? Your choice (assuming you have breast milk-you do have to feed the baby). Don’t want an elective cesarean? Your choice. Don’t want to use a stroller, or ready made baby food, or disposable diapers, or wean until age 2? Your choice.

      Start telling other people that your choice is the only acceptable option, and trying to force your choices on others? Then you’re a whole lot worse than a wacky fetishist.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Exactly. I personally have chosen to do (or not do) at least 3 of the specific choices you have mentioned above. But I ain’t trying to force anybody else or even proselytize. Most parents are the same way–content to do what they want, for their own reasons, even deeply held reasons, but not force it down anybody’s throat.

        • AllieFoyle

          Sure, discuss but don’t proselytize. People can have strongly held personal beliefs about the issue (like the mother in the story) without being weird fetishists or weirdos or whatever. Maybe she is, I don’t know, but being against circumcision in general and not wanting it to be done to her preschool-aged son does not necessarily make her a nutcase.

          • Gatita

            I can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t think the mother is crazy because she doesn’t want her kid to be circumcised. I think she’s crazy because she abducted her kid, lied to get into a domestic violence shelter and has teamed up with the far right foreskin fringe. FWIW, I think her former partner is a ginormorous asshole and prick for forcing the issue instead of working with her on a compromise. And the judge needs a boot in the ass too.

          • momofone

            It really sucks that neither parent seems to be able to get his/her head out of their ass long enough to see how their tug-of-war has the potential to affect their son now and in the long term.

          • I am confused though, the child could get circumcised later if they so choose. Getting un-circumcised is a different matter. foreskin “restoration” only restores the physical function instead of the nerve endings so it is only a partial solution.

          • Medwife

            Jackasses all around. Poor kid.

          • Maya Markova

            In other words, you are OK with her not wanting her son to be circumcised, as long as she did nothing to enforce her choice about her own child.

          • Poogles

            I think there were other options somewhere between doing “nothing” and the extreme she went to of kidnapping and then hiding in a DV shelter under false pretenses.

            Not to mention her choice “about her own child” was in direct opposition to the father’s choice “about [his] own child”, not to mention that her (somewhat recently changed) choice was also in direct opposition to a binding legal document she signed and apparently in opposition to the opinions of 2 doctors who actually examined their son.

            I still feel that this has all gotten completely out of hand, handled terribly by pretty much everyone involved except the poor kid who is going to have to live with any and all fallout of having such an intimate part of his life made so incredibly public when he had no say in the matter.

          • Robert Howard

            Domestic violence shelters are for children, too. The father was threatening bodily harm to the boy. She had every reason to be there.

          • momofone

            If by “bodily harm” you mean circumcision, that is not abuse, and not an appropriate reason to go to a DV shelter.

          • Cobalt

            She discovered her strongly held personal belief after the custody and support battle got ugly…I think it’s a strongly held personal excuse to fight with her ex.

          • AllieFoyle

            But none of us actually know. The Slate article has a source saying that the father only developed an interest in forcing the procedure to antagonize her after her anti-circ views developed, which is consistent with him not doing it earlier, when it would have been less traumatic for the child.

            And in life you are allowed to change your mind about things. Maybe she had never thought about circumcision before. Who cares if she signed something years ago? He’s a child, not chattel. What is actually in the best interest of the child now?

          • Cobalt

            “What is actually in the best interest of the child now?”

            Since neither parent knows or cares, I’d defer to the doctor’s judgement.

            And yes, both parents are assholes. She should have had it done, as agreed, in early infancy, and when she didn’t, the father should have dropped the elective issue. No one should have called the media or the foreskin crusaders. That’s thinking about the kid, and not the parents’ own ego.

          • Robert Howard

            That’s exactly what happened. I used to be a friend of Heather on Facebook.

          • Robert Howard

            No, the dad found his strongly held personal belief AFTER the mom had researched circumcision and started being vocally opposed to it. I knew Heather on Facebook from her intactivism, and I remember months later her being incredibly upset because Nebus wanted to circumcise her son. He’s the one using the boy as a tool to fight with her, and apparently he’s won.

          • Cobalt

            So an intactivist willingly agreed to have her son circumcised in a legally binding agreement? Either you’re lying about the timeline of her supposed change of heart or you’re saying she was an intactivist who agreed to a circumcision (in a legally binding agreement) that she had no intention of allowing. Almost as though she INTENDED to turn it into a big, loud attention seeking stunt in which she publicly humiliates her child and traumatises him with going into hiding for the sake of publicity.

          • Robert Howard

            No, I’m not lying about anything. The agreement was put in effect in 2011. Some time later, she researched circumcision and was outraged by it and began being vocally opposed. Nebus didn’t press for it until late 2013 when the boy was already 3. Nebus had been in charge of scheduling and paying for it from day one, but he did nothing until she started being against it.

          • Cobalt

            So instead of getting him circumcised in early infancy (if his financial responsibility is in the contract she could force him to pay), which was not a problem for her when he was an infant, or proactively have the circumcision issue forced to resolution when the child was an infant, she decided to do nothing and gamble on the asshole father suddenly not being an asshole? And then went out of her way to be vocal and antagonistic about her disapproval of the father’s preference?

          • Robert Howard

            Yes, blame her for not doing something he was supposed to do. I know a lot of women who don’t care about it and leave it up to the father, and that sounds exactly like what she did, and hence the reason for him being responsible for scheduling and paying for it. Is it really that hard to comprehend? Blaming her for not doing it herself and having to go to court to get her money back seems like a pretty big burden for something she didn’t give a rat’s ass about.

          • Cobalt

            Doing nothing was obviously not in the child’s best interest, considering the current, and predictable, shit storm. She knew of the high potential for volatility on the issue (or ANY issue between them), and chose to let an agreement she did not intend to honor stand unchallenged, with predictable results. You can’t stop your ex from being an asshole, but you can be proactive to minimize the foreseeable trauma to the child.

            The fact that your testimony says she then provoked the father by being vocally antagonistic online in disparaging his preferences doesn’t help her case.

            What she didn’t give a rat’s ass about was the impact of all this bullshit on the kid. Or there wouldn’t be a Facebook page for his genitals, especially with his name and face attached.

            She’s as willing to “split the child” over his foreskin as the father. They’re both assholes, but she’s the one who called the media and brought all this drama down on this poor kid.

      • Robert Howard

        “and trying to force your choices on others?”

        You mean like exactly what happens in a circumcision?

    • The mother tried to introduce testimony from a psychologist that demonstrated that the procedure would harm their child and inspires intense fear, but the judge rejected letting the testimony proceed. The judge also rejected the civil liberties attorneys representing the child’s constitutional rights. It seems pretty plain to me that this judge has issues of bias to not even let the arguments be heard. Its obvious that circumcising a four year old is much different than an infant. I looked into the medical conditions that indicate circumcision in boys when I had my son and now there are alternate procedures that leave the foreskin intact and resolve issues like constriction.

    • Maya Markova

      Bravo!

  • indigosky

    These anti-circ people are refusing to see the real issue here. This woman signed a binding contract. If she was so against it, why didn’t she refuse to sign? I didn’t sign my mortgage loan agreement and then suddenly tell the bank I wanted to back out six months down the road. That’s breach of contract. This woman was jailed for signing a legally binding document, backing out, then running with the child. I think she also lied to get into a DV shelter, thus taking a bed from a woman who really needed it. She’s not being jailed because she refused to circ, she’s being jailed because she broke the law.

    • Bugsy

      The part about her taking a bed at a DV shelter really bothered me, too. I read about that for the first time this morning and was appalled. Is there a way she can be held liable for lying to the state and for the cost of their care during that time?

      • Maya Markova

        If this woman doesn’t qualify for a DV shelter, I don’t know who does!

        • momofone

          Based on what?

    • Maya Markova

      In what other circumstances a contract about cosmetic surgery would be considered binding even if the signer reconsiders? If I sign a contract for a facelift and then change my mind, they can drag me and bind me to enforce the contract, right? And if her signature years ago was sooooo valid, why was she jailed “undefinitely” until she “agreed” to put a new signature?

      • Nick Sanders

        Prove the surgery is cosmetic.

        • ml66uk

          The pediatric urologist called by the father’s defense team testified that the boy didn’t need to be circumcised, and when asked, that he wouldn’t circumcise the boy if it were his own son. When the father was asked why he wanted the boy circumcised, the only reason he gave was “it’s the normal thing to do”. It sounds very much to me like the father just wants this to spite the mother, and to hell with what the boy wants.

  • Bugsy

    One thing that puzzles me about this case, and as part of a larger picture, is the venom intactivists have for male circumcision, is why they focus on circumcision over ear piercing. One is thought to have some medical benefit while we’d all agree that the other has zero medical benefit; both carry with them risks. Even though I occasionally hear of parents who are against ear piercing, it doesn’t seem to carry with it the same venom that the intactivist groups have for circumcision. Is it because circumcision is seen as part of the medical establishment, thus necessarily associated with the government, Big Pharma and a lack of personal rights?

    • Cobalt

      Ear piercing is more easily acquired and is done by choice by millions of teen and adults, frequently repeatedly. It’s hard to campaign against something so commonly done to so many adults with such minimal bad effects. Men typically don’t bother with circumcision as adults unless they are having a medical issue, so there’s very little elective demand for it and therefore very few who can give “before and after” testimony on how boring the results are.

      And there are people who do freak out over having a baby’s ears pierced.

      • Bugsy

        Hmmm, interesting. Thanks!

      • Sarah

        I am one. It’s awful to inflict piercing on an infant.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “It’s awful to inflict piercing on an infant.”
          How so? Why is it so bad?

          • Sarah

            It’s painful and for no medical benefit at all.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “It’s painful and for no medical benefit at all.”
            So are a lot of cultural things. Brushing long hair is painful (I remember many a morning crying while my mom detangled my hair) and there is no medical benefit. But nobody is up in arms about it. Pierced ears, who gives a crap? I save the term “awful” for actual child abuse or neglect, not some basically benign cultural practice.

          • Sarah

            Save whatever you want, that’s your business. But having experienced both the brushing of lang, easily tangled hair, and piercing, I’m well placed to tell you that you’re simply not comparing like with like when it comes to pain. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed a baby undergoing ear piercing, but the level of pain they experience is sure as hell not benign. Additionally, brushing hair is not a permanent/semi-permanent (piercings sometimes close) body modification, whereas piercings are. Nor does it carry any infection risk at all, which piercings do even when properly cared for.

            So yeah, sticking with awful, thanks. You’re going to need to come up with a much better argument if you want to pull off the dismissive schtick you’re going for. Incidentally, your definition of ‘actual’ child abuse is an interesting one. In England and Wales, in family law, the ‘test’ is if a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm. Shoving sharp objects into an infant, hard enough to go through soft tissue, would certainly qualify if performed for any reason other than to leave holes in the ear to dangle bits of metal through. I know this because I worked on a case where comparable injuries were inflicted. I remain to be convinced that such shoving becomes not abusive because the resulting nonconsensual modification allows for shiny things to be shoved in it.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Ah, so now I’m trying to “pull off a dismissive schtick”? My goodness! And here I was thinking that I was just trying to be a reasonable doctor who was helpful to the communities I serve by not becoming totally undone every time I saw a baby with some earrings.

          • Sarah

            No doubt the communities you serve find your posts on here extremely helpful.

            Anyway, I note with great interest you haven’t attempted to explain why piercing several layers of skin and flesh suddenly becomes fine if the aim is to decorate it with shiny metals, whereas it’s abusive in other contexts. Unless you think it’s just fine in every instance, which I suppose would at least be consistent if nothing else.

          • Cobalt

            Ear piercing is a cultural norm for some families, and as such the benefits of participation can be found to outweigh the typically very minor risks.

            There are risk tradeoffs to doing it earlier or later, every family has to decide what they think will work best for their kid.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Because intent and cultural context matter:
            “Piercing several layers of skin and flesh” to give a vaccine = OK. Not abuse.
            “Piercing several layers of skin and flesh” to place earrings = OK. Not abuse.
            Poking a child repeatedly with a needle with the aim of just causing pain = Not OK. Abuse.
            A child pushing another child down on the playground = not OK
            A child pushing another child down on the hockey rink = OK, called checking.

            Context matters. That is what culture is, no?

          • Gatita

            A child who is loved, well-cared for, spoken to with respect, not subjected to corporal punishment, fed, clothed and also has pierced ears? Not abused. And I know many children who fall into that category. P.S. I have seen babies get their ears pierced, they cry for five minutes and it’s over.

          • rh1985

            I personally think it’s cruelty to the baby, it’s pain with no medical purpose and ears can be pierced later in life with zero drawbacks to waiting (unlike circ). I am not going to be marching through the streets to get it banned but I wouldn’t be at all sorry if it were banned.

          • Gatita

            You know, I have no problem with you feeling that way (not that you needed my approval *grin*). Where I will start putting up a fight is when piercing ears is described as abuse. Abuse has long-term, severe negative consequences for a child’s emotional and physical well being. Piercing ears doesn’t fall under that category.

          • Jodi Hilla McCormack

            Hmm, my tween daughters disagree there is no harm in waiting. They keep telling me I should have just gotten it over with when they were babies and didn’t know any better.

          • rh1985

            It’s not going to cause them medical harm to do it when they are older though, and complications are less likely.

          • Sarah

            As have I. They cried for longer, and the fact is that even injuries where children don’t necessarily cry for a long time are accepted as abusive in the courts. So yes, some of you are working with some interesting definitions of abusive here.

            Anyways, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me why sticking sharp objects into an infant hard enough to pierce through several layers of skin and into the flesh becomes not abusive when the resultant modification allows for shiny metal to be artfully arranged in it, when it would be abusive if that weren’t the case. So far, all we’ve had is ‘because I said so’.

          • Gatita

            Because abuse results in serious psychological and physical harm that requires long-term treatment to mitigate. Ear piercing doesn’t come close.

          • Sarah

            Where is your evidence that abuse necessarily results in serious psychological and physical harm requiring long term treatment? The courts are certainly working on a different definition to you. There is no requirement for the effects you mention for something to be classed as abuse, certainly in the jurisdiction where I work. I am not a mental health professional, but having read lots and lots of expert reports from people who are, I think they’re also working on a different definition from you too: I have seen comments to the effect that there are a number of different responses to abuse that come within the realms of normal.

            Apologies for the late response btw. I did check back but Disqus has been showing that I didn’t have any notifications and I only saw this reply when I looked into my inbox now, I didn’t post and run.

          • Cobalt

            A friend’s baby slept through it. When my youngest got hers done at age 3 she didn’t even flinch, much less cry.

          • Cobalt

            Long hair carries risks, too, aside from the extra daily maintenance. Getting it caught in a car door, window, or car seat buckle hurts. As does other kids yanking on it, or having to deal with getting gum in it. A buzz cut is also a very effective prevention or treatment for lice infestation.

            An awful lot of daily effort and repeated risk of pain for something to hang a ribbon on.

          • Guestll

            Was it part of your culture to have long hair? If not, why not just cut your hair? That’s what my mother did – long, fine, easily tangled hair, three daughters – shorter hair, fewer tangles, less pain.

            There is probably an argument to be made for a medical benefit to brushing long hair – mats can be quite painful to remove.

          • Cobalt

            And the hair has to be brushed every day, whereas the ears are done and over once.

          • rh1985

            If my daughter was bothered by the brushing of hair and removing knots in a few years (it’s unlikely to grow long enough to knot while she is still too young to have an opinion) I will give her the choice of having a shorter hair cut if she wants.

          • Cobalt

            Mine both got short hair around age six. I explained they could have long hair or easy to brush hair and that was that. We also had trouble with the little one cutting her own hair, she had quite a few bad hair days.

          • Wren

            I wish it were that simple. My 7 year old insists on having the longest hair in the class, but yep, it tangles and she has days she makes it clear the brushing bothers her. I made the decision, against her will might I add, to take 5 inches off not long ago for just that reason. (It’s still long, but she has now decided to do her part to take care of it.)

          • Gatita

            I had my ears pierced as a four year old and it’s not that painful, folks. As for scarring, it’s a tiny dimple in the skin that gets way less noticeable over time (I had double piercings in my ear that I let close). Let’s not get hysterical about it. If I’d had a girl I probably would’ve waited to pierce but not because it’s abusive, GMAFB.

          • Maya Markova

            I’ve done it as adult and, at least to me, it wasn’t painful. But I am against doing it on young children.

          • AllieFoyle

            Isn’t it all a slippery slope when you start to think about it? We’re ok with male circumcision and single ear piercings on female babies because we’re used to those practices, but removing or piercing a baby’s skin in an equivalent but culturally novel way wouldn’t be acceptable and would possibly be considered child abuse. I think these issues are pretty inconsequential, but what’s the important distinction between piercing a baby’s ears and giving her a small tattoo, or circumcision and removing some other body part?

          • Megan

            I guess it would depend on the acceptability of the risk/benefits of the procedure. For instance, ear piercing has no medical benefits and some very small risks but those risks might be acceptable to a person if they reay want a piercing. Likewise, parents discuss circumcision with the physician who would do the procedure and they discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure and the parents decide on behalf of their minor child if the benefits are worth the risks. I agree that culture influences this process.

          • rh1985

            Circ has some medical benefits and becomes riskier if delayed. Ear piercing is painful, has zero medical benefits and does not become riskier if delayed until the girl is old enough to decide. I won’t try to ban it, personally, but I wish it wasn’t allowed.

          • Megan

            Perhaps I’m reading into it too much (context is difficult here) but it seems like you got the impression that I am for ear piercing. My reply was purposefully worded to try to leave out my personal opinion and convey that the decision about any of these procedures, when done to someone else’s child, is none of my business and is about each individual’s perception and acceptance (or not) of risk.

          • rh1985

            I just don’t think it’s the same kind of decision as circumcision because it has zero medical benefits and there are zero drawbacks to waiting until the girl can have her own opinion.

          • Megan

            Great. You are totally entitled to your opinion about both procedures. Bht why anyone cares if someone else pierces their kid’s ears or circumcised their son is beyond me.

          • rh1985

            Because as someone who never wanted pierced ears, I think it should be up to the kid. I am grateful to have had that choice since sometimes it leaves permanent scarring.

          • Maya Markova

            Ear pearcing has zero medical benefits but likely has other benefits, because many adults do it voluntarily. In contrast, few adults choose to undergo circumcision.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Isn’t it all a slippery slope when you start to think about it?”
            No. A slippery slope means that if you do one thing, it will inevitably lead to worse and worse things. But does that seem to be happening in real life? No. Many cultures have been practicing male circ for hundreds or thousands of years without it leading to worse things. Same with baby ear piercing–there are lots of cultures that do that, and it hasn’t led to baby tattoo or some other theoretical terrrible slippery slope amputation outcome yet.
            Much ado about nothing it seems to me.

          • AllieFoyle

            But I can think of no rational reason why such practices would be permissible, if not for cultural precedent. I think you make the same argument that people have made in favor of corporal punishment, a practice which has become less and less acceptable in modern society, as we have become less comfortable with violence and cruelty, and more concerned with child welfare and psychological health. Increasing concern about infant circumcision and piercing probably reflects changing sensibilities around children’s rights, bodily autonomy, and informed consent.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “But I can think of no rational reason why such practices would be permissible, if not for cultural precedent.”

            Things that don’t make rational sense except for cultural precedent is the very definition of culture, no? From weddings, to drag racing, to s’mores, to celebrating Christmas—I daresay I could craft a cogent argument against all of them. Doesn’t mean they are “abuse” or “awful” or represent “violence” or “cruelty”. Ear piercing is no different. The modern fad is for rich white people to turn their noses up at it and call their snobbishness enlightenment.

          • rh1985

            It is causing pain and potential lifetime scarring, and potential short term risks like infection, for aesthetic reasons only. Zero medical benefit. And it can easily be done at an older age, if the child later wants it, in fact it is easier and safer at an older age. Easier to do after care, and no chance it will end up crooked when the ears grow.

          • Mariana Baca

            I’ve had my ears pierced both as an infant and as an adult (multiple times, some have closed over). My infant ones are in much better condition and healed way better than the adult ones. The infant ones were way easier to take care of, based on what my mother has said and what I experienced (infants are mostly dong nothing all day — harried college students are busy). The overall pain as an adult was negligible — I can’t imagine it was different as an infant, and didn’t remember it either. Ones that closed off do have a bit of scarring (all adult ones), but it is not something visible or noticeable unless I’m deliberately looking for it — there are more noticeable congenital bumps in my body and naturally acquired scars.

            Basically, my adult piercings have never felt “quite right” — I think my autoimmune response has risen as an adult plus infants heal better in general. I’ve never had any trouble with my infant piercings. They have provided cultural and social benefit and zero harm. If I didn’t like them, I could reverse them with zero loss of functionality. This is a difference with circumcision. I’m not sure it is much different than a more permanent haircut — it is a form of decoration that can be reversed — no tissue was removed.

    • Gatita

      Ear piercing infant is actually very frowned upon in certain circles and it seems to correspond to higher SES. I grew up in a culture that does it routinely but I’ve met people who find the idea appalling.

    • rh1985

      I am not going to try to outlaw it, but I hate infant ear piercing. I have never wanted pierced ears, and I am very grateful my mother left it up to me because sometimes it does leave scarring. It’s also very uncommon where I live for girls younger than elementary school aged to have pierced ears.

      • Bugsy

        I’m personally not a fan of it myself, either. That being said, I’m hardly an activist…to each his/her own.

    • Guestll

      I wouldn’t circumcise a son without medical indication. I wouldn’t pierce a child’s ears without her/his consent. I am not an activist for either, but I find both to be pretty appalling. Incidentally, ear piercings can grow over (close) with time and lack of use. The same can’t be said for foreskin once it’s removed.

      • Mishimoo

        Ear piercings can grow over, but the ear won’t be the same. Quite often, there is still a little dot on each side of the lobe and when palpated, a small ‘ball’ can be felt inside.

        I have left my kids to choose when they want their ears pierced because even though they can close, there is a permanent change. I also wouldn’t circumcise unless it was the best option, but I know that there is a certain amount of privilege behind that choice. It’s a bit like breastfeeding vs. formula – in some countries, the difference is minimal and not worth bothering about. In others, it can give kids a better start to life.

  • Allie

    I feel sad for this little boy, but otherwise do not give a damn about the circumcision debate except that I wish people would stop comparing it to female “circumcision,” to which it bears absolutely no comparison. Not being a man, I can’t speak from experience, but it is my understanding circumcised men enjoy pleasurable sex.

    • Sarah

      I can attest to this, unless my husband is a better actor than I’d thought.

      • Gatita

        To be perfectly blunt I’ve never met a man who wasn’t completely in love with his own dick, circumcised or not.

        • Sarah

          Ha! Very true.

    • ml66uk

      There’s plenty of evidence that most circumcised women enjoy pleasurable sex too though, even those subjected to the worst forms. Some of them claim it has improved their sex lives, and are eager for their daughters to undergo it too. The worst forms of FGC are unquestionably worse than the usual form of western male circumcision, but the worst forms of male circumcision are also far worse than the lesser forms of female cutting. Over 100 males died of circumcision in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa last year, and there were at least two penile amputations and one castration.

      Google “ulwaluko” for gruesome photos of the results. The man who received the first transplanted penis recently lost his own penis due to circumcision btw.

      Compare that with this form of FGC (very common in some countries, but illegal in the USA):
      tinyurl zahras-circumcision

      Still think it bears no comparison?

  • Michael Steane

    The real reason for both male and female circumcision, despite claims which are often ludicrous for medical benefits, is to reduce sensation. And the driving force behind the practice is profit.

    • lol

      Big bank is made on foreskins. Entire bank vaults full of that sweet foreskin money.

      It’s a social and aesthetic issue in first-world countries not ravaged by AIDS and a total lack of infrastructure. I’m against it, but to say that it’s motivated by profit is laughably ridiculous.

      • general panzer

        lol you are naive why do you think it is only recommended in the U.S. where health care is for profit?I bet people there going through a lot of treatment that is absolutely unnecesary.

        • Because the United States is a sexually repressed theocracy where circumcision to prevent the touching no-no’s was advertised as good parenting up until a few decades ago.

          Expecting that everything doctors do is for profit, when cosmetic surgery is where the dough is at, is the height of self-obsessive naivete because it assumes that not only do the men in white coats operate in outlaw cabals, but they’re also authority figures untouched by moral panic. That’s also neglecting the fact that the major medical associations of the U.S. heavily frown upon such things and are liable to take one’s license away or levy astronomical fines for malpractice.

        • Nick Sanders

          John Harvey Kellogg, that’s why.

      • Megan

        I’m just picturing a physician contract with a base salary, production bonus and a “foreskin bonus.” Riiight….

        • Male tears are at a premium.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          To be fair, procedures are highly profitable in the US: You make more money removing a foreskin than you will counseling parents (or adults considering circumcision) on the risks and benefits of having their child’s (or their) foreskin removed. So, yes, there is a certain profit motivation. But that is no more the main or only motivation than profit from performing an epidural is the main or only motivation for recommending an epidural to a particular patient.

          • Megan

            That’s true but there are many other procedures that make just as much and are easier if profit were the only motive. Having done circumcisions in the past along with many other procedures I can assure you it is not a big money maker. I could make just as much money cutting off a bunch of skin tags than doing a circumcision and at far less effort (or by doing a Medicare preventative physical and managing an elderly patient’s multiple medical problems). I don’t do circumcisions anymore but I can tell you that we didn’t encourage parents one way or the other. I gave them the pertinent info to make a decision and that was that. It made no difference to me what their decision was because it’s their kid. I just think to insinuate that doctors do circumcisions just for profit is laughable at best and disingenuous at worst. I think it’s humorous that some people on this thread (not you) seem to think they know what the fee scale is for every procedure and the reimbursement from each insurance company.

          • Megan

            And FWIW, I never got more than my base salary anyway as the hospitals always made it very difficult to get to a bonus pay situation. It would’ve made no difference in my pay no matter what procedure I did. This would obviously be different in private practice but those aren’t very common anymore.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Yeah, there is this mythical beast called the “clinical bonus” where I work too, but there hasn’t been a spotting of it outside of orthopedics in decades.

          • Megan

            It’s the same in my institution and is unlikely to be seen by any of the specialties performing circumcisions on newborns in the hospital (FP’s, pediatricians or OB’s). I expect that I’ll see a unicorn in the field behind my house before I’d ever reach the threshold for any productivity bonus!

    • Sarah

      This isn’t entirely true. It is with the more extreme versions of female circumcision, but eg the Bondo ritual in Sierra Leone is performed as part of a process that is supposed to teach women to enjoy vaginal sex more. It is not something I would be willing to undergo myself, but at least one initiate has claimed it did not affect her sexual function- google Dr Fuambai Ahmadu.

      That said, just because a woman ‘only’ undergoes removal of the clitoris and not full infibulation doesn’t mean everything will be fine. I have worked with a woman from Gambia whose clitoris was removed in adulthood (FGM is sometimes practiced on marriage or birth of first child) and she felt mutilated and unable to enjoy sex after.

  • Ellen Mary

    Interesting: it appears that this is something of a Florida trend, now that Florida has reinstated some Circ coverage, that people are circumcising older boys, en masse.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304419104579327013566659736

    • Mattie

      Don’t you find that sad? Surely you should be campaigning for better healthcare for poorer people.

      • Ellen Mary

        I believe these people actually mostly want circumcision for decidedly non-medical reasons and are getting fake diagnosis on older boys to justify it . . . But I basically agree with the Urologist interviewed: since people are going to get it done anyway, do it when it is cheaper and *arguably* less traumatic (although I think the least trauma is when a teen/adult can consent and access anesthesia and post op pain relief). I don’t believe though that we should have better health care for Chase’s quasi deadbeat dad. Paying $200 a month in child support is very close to the state minimum. I believe he could have saved the money to do it when it was less traumatic but instead waited until he could convince the state to pay. That is not the mark of a good dude, IMO.

        • Mattie

          Unfortunately healthcare is a basic human right, and human rights apply to douchebags too. Yep it probably would have been better if he’d had Chase circumcised as a baby (also because then we wouldn’t be having this discussion because when Chase was a baby his mum agreed to the procedure with no problems). Whether any national healthcare programs should cover the cost of routine circumcision is debatable, however it’d be interesting to know how much one infant circumcision costs the NHS, because it seems that the actual costs of healthcare in the US are extortionate.

          • Cobalt

            Also the costs of infant circumcision vs the costs of treating later issues.

            For example, infant circumcision is a very expensive way to manage the expense of penile cancer. Penile cancer occurs almost exclusively in uncircumcised men, but is so rare that it’s cheaper to treat it than circumcise however many hundreds of thousands of babies would prevent a single case of penile cancer.

            I haven’t seen numbers on other complications though, and with all the intactivist bullshit on the internet it’s hard to find numbers based on reality.

    • Cobalt

      Refusing insurance coverage was wrong to begin with, and is now shown to have been a demonstrably false economy.

    • Megan

      But doesn’t that just speak to the fact that parents want their sons circumcised? I guess I just don’t understand why It should be my business if that’s what they want. I mean, the doctor in the article (and to be fair, I read another source who interviewed the same doctor since I don’t subscribe to the WSJ and could t see that article in its entirety) says he is counseling them about the risks and benefits and they either need it or want it. Why then is it anyone else’s business?

  • Ellen Mary

    The real issue is a barely custodial father despising foreskin so much that he arranged to divest his 4 year old of it over the objections of his fully custodial mother, on a trumped up diagnosis that reflects a misunderstanding of the foreskin, after he neglected to exercise his rights when the surgery would have been relatively uncomplicated.

    • Ellen Mary

      I even think this ‘diagnosis’ may have given him the Government dollar he needed to cover the surgery, because it was brought up that he didn’t do it earlier because it was not covered under Medicaid. So it wasn’t worth $3-500 to him in cash dollars when the boy was an infant, but he will wait for the child to be four, so that Uncle Sam can pick up the $$$$ tab for a surgery under General Anesthesia.

      • demodocus

        Granted its been a while since DH was on Medicaid, but if memory serves, he never actually saw the money from Medicaid. Docs don’t tend to wait 4 years to increase the cash flow.

    • Nick Sanders

      Can you demonstrate that the diagnosis is false or even exaggerated?

  • Ellen Mary

    Do you really think lack of consent to circumcision warrants *indefinite detention*? The real question is why her lawyer was so bad as to not call the judge’s bluff on that. Israel faced a similar question and had a FEMALE judge arbitrate, NOT a male judge who is almost unquestionably foreskin free himself.

    • FormerPhysicist

      Do you really think running, hiding, keeping the child from his father and fraudulently obtaining shelter in domestic violence housing is worth only a pat on the back? Let alone refusing to acknowledge a consent decree she signed?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Refusing consent for circumcision, no. Kidnapping a child and denying him access to a parent, yes.

  • Ellen Mary

    Phismosis (inability to retract the foreskin) cannot be diagnosed in a 4 year old, that would be like trying to diagnose excess hymen in a 4 year old girl, IDevenK what urinating on his leg even means. And I don’t know if this was trumped up, but reportedly the boy has a history of both keloid scarring AND reactions to general anesthesia . . .

    • Mattie

      Yes it can, it depends on the development of the individual child, also when you say ‘excess hymen’ do you mean imperforate hymen because that can be diagnosed at birth, I mean any of the conditions that could be classed as ‘excess hymen’ can be diagnosed at any age, assuming you took the child to the doctor because of issues relating to it. If the little boy does have history of keloid and reactions to GA then his doctors will be aware.

      • Ellen Mary

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25754752
        Notice the word benign here. But nowhere in this case was there legit discussion of an anomaly.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25095486
        Notice the word ‘pseudo pathology’ here.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24044098

        Notice the viability of an alternative treatment strategy for even SEVERE phismosis here . . .

        If this boy had a history of even occasional UTI, it would have been mentioned in court. He didn’t.

        • Ellen Mary

          And another link, notice how this one says that physicians have *widespread* difficulty diagnosing phismosis inappropriately. And I am not going to link to any more articles showing that steroid cream is a totally viable solution, because it is literally ALL OVER the literature . . .

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23002427

          • Mattie

            The first one, I don’t think it’s saying what you think it says. While it states that most (not all) of the conditions had minimal or no effect on urinary function (note therefore that others had a severe effect and even some of the ‘most’ had a minimal effect) surgery is often recommended for other reasons. Spontaneous improvement is possible (but not certain) but in most cases where surgery is performed it is for other reasons as well.

            The second one is a study on the history of healthcare practice prior to 1949 in NZ, like yeh in the early part of the 20th century they did crazy stuff because of the social, cultural and religious practices of the time. So?

            This is the only good evidence you provided, it does suggest steroid use is effective for phimosis, and where I am (England) it is probably the first course of action that a GP would try, if it didn’t work then they’d try something else. Circumcision is a last resort here. However the child in question doesn’t have phimosis, he has something else which is treated with circumcision (diagnosed by a second-opinion from a urologist).

            Side-note: You’d think with all the studies you’ve read you’d have learnt how to spell phimosis

          • Ellen Mary

            You’d think if you were going to assert he had a different condition, you would know the name of it and have a link.

            The studies I posted were not the end all of the literature, there are literally MANY studies out there that attest that Phimosis is improperly diagnosed and that alternative treatments are available, successful, and advised.

          • Mattie

            Well it says it in the article you’re commenting on, shall I link to this page? Like I said, I live in a country where things are very different and circumcision is done as a last resort, I would imagine that the case in question probably views it the same way as circumcising a 4 year old is riskier than circumcising an infant and they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t need to. Unless you’re this boy’s doctor I wouldn’t expect you to know everything about this case, although it seems you feel you ought to.

            Why do you feel that this is any of your business?

          • Ellen Mary

            I feel that the country one lives in shouldn’t determine the amount of your genitals you get to retain . . . If the UK can treat it without surgery, then please tell me why the supposed ‘culture’ of the US justifies surgical treatment? That is like elevating WalMart to the level of ‘culture’. There should not be a penile ‘culture’ that differs between developed nations as similar as the US & UK. It either requires surgery or does not.

            I must have missed where this article states the alternate diagnosis, please do direct me to the specific name of it.

          • Mattie

            “‘A pediatrician suggested Chase’s foreskin was too tight and should be removed. Later, a urologist questioned that diagnosis, but agreed that Chase would benefit generally from a circumcision.'”

            So it may be that the urologist feels the increased risks of HIV, HPV and other STIs outweigh the small risks of circumcision, it’s not actually clear.

            Also the UK and US are very different in regards to healthcare, mostly because we provide the majority of it for free to everyone. The ‘penile culture’ which is really a circumcision culture comes from the population make-up, so the religions and other cultural aspects of society, as well as the US’s tendency to preemptively treat rather than wait and treat the problems.

            However, I must have missed where you explain how this is any of your business, could you clarify?

          • Ellen Mary

            Yeah, nice coming up short. The urologist *generally favors Circumcision* but he doesn’t believe the original diagnosis. It is crystal clear. There IS NO medical urgency, so this could actually wait until the child is old enough to consent to sexual healthcare which is established in several states to be 12. If he was seeking the sexual benefits.

            This is a ComBox on the internet. It is a story in the media. Why don’t you explain to me why this particular media issue should be exempt from public commentary, or why I personally should lead the way in silence on an issue which you, Dr. Amy, and countless other media establishments and internet commenters are commenting on?

          • Mattie

            coincidentally, the article by Dr Amy is about how this isn’t anyone else’s business:

            “But the issue here is not, and has never been, parental consent. The issue is whether a circumcision has medical benefits for this specific child, benefits that outweigh the risk of performing the surgery on a child, risks that are greater than when he was a newborn. And that question can only be answered by medical professionals, not by a band of self-appointed foreskin fetishists whose cynicism is exceeded only by their self-absorption.”

            Seeing as you’re not on the medical team advising Chase’s parents, it’s pretty conceited to think you know better. They have more facts than you, they have more skills and knowledge than you and they probably have a higher level of specialist education than you. The majority of commenters on this blog are responding to you (general you) to disprove your wildest claims and also to get you to realise it is none of your business. We don’t actually care what the result of the case is, because the penis of someone else’s child is none of our business. We can provide studies showing the potential benefits of circumcision, the reasons doctors do it, I can explain that even in the UK if a doctor recommends it then it is done; but the final point is that it is none of your business what someone decides is best for their child.

            It isn’t ‘abuse’ because it doesn’t cause any long-term harm, it is not equivalent to FGM because the majority of FGM is dangerous and done for sexist reasons. It is not going to lead to a generation of ‘ruined’ men, unless they are told by intactivists that they are ruined. So really it’s just a parental choice and as such is between the parents and a medical professional.

          • Ellen Mary

            I am repeating the facts that were in the case, which is although it is ‘generally beneficial in life’ it is not an acute medical condition requiring immediate action (which is the general standard for proxy consent).

            There is a form of FGM that only involves removing the foreskin and the AAP recently (in the last 10 years) tried to get the green light for a type of ceremonial FGM to prevent traditional FGM.

            Whether or not NEONATAL Circ ‘leads to a generation of ruined men’ is not at issue here, and that is not a claim I have made. It is a claim you are ascribing to me in an attempt to discredit the reasonable arguments I have made, as well as the ‘none of your business’ trope. I am not contacting Heather, the Judge, Chase or any Urologist, I am commenting on a cultural phenomenon in the US media, on a blog I often find myself (one could say foolishly) in the ComBox of . . .

          • Ellen Mary

            Actually, Mattie, many people are commenting on this blog to posts other than the ones I have made. To try to assert that all the other commenters were only dragged here by my wild claims and would just be minding their own business otherwise is just patently laughable . . .

          • demodocus

            my generation would be the “ruined” ones. Anecdotally, its not generally an issue

          • Cobalt

            The only man I’ve ever been with that had a complaint wished he had been circumcised. It’s really not an issue, and if billions of hours of available porn on the internet demonstrate anything uncontroversially, it’s that circumcision’s relevance to sexual function is merely aesthetic and only just barely that.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Reading over this it does make me wonder if porn is a contributing factor to the increase in circumcisions in the US. People watch porn, see circumcised penis, figured that must be the norm, gets child circumcised because they think it’s normal.

            Mind you I don’t watch porn, it’s not my thing, so that’s why I’m asking. Is there a higher ratio of circumcised vs uncircumcised in porn?

            Kind of like how some women feel extremely insecure about the size of their labia or the size and shape of their breasts and butts because of porn expectations.

            Also makes me wonder if people in the US are larger consumers of porn with an emphasis on penis shots compared to Europe. Europe seems to be a bit more liberal with sex as well so maybe they’re exposed to the idea that an uncircumcised penis is the natural state?

            Hmm… Questions. Body image and porn has always been interesting to me.

          • Cobalt

            There are aesthetic trends in porn just like in anything else, so one style will be more or less popular in any given decade. In America, a porn actor is more likely to be circumcised than uncircumcised overall, but that’s also true of American men overall. As to which trend leads the other, I have no evidence either way. I don’t think guys are watching porn for the penises, though, and circumcision doesn’t usually change the “in use” appearance very much.

          • Bugsy

            Wait, the U.S. is considered to be a penile culture!? Sounds awesome!

            (Second guesses moving north of the border.)

    • Montserrat Blanco

      If a girl is born with an unperforated hymen it is much better for her to have it corrected before puberty starts and she has her first period. It is routinely examined in all baby girls. Unfrequent but possible.

  • Speaksvolumes

    Cutting off a hand is worse than cutting off a finger, but they are both mutilations.
    It is a difference of degree not of kind.

    • Nick Sanders

      And yet, amputation is a medical procedure that is still used when indicated.

      • Speaksvolumes

        “When indicated”.

        • Nick Sanders

          “Nebus put off the circumcision until December of 2013—when he saw Chase, then 3, urinating on his leg. A pediatrician suggested Chase’s foreskin was too tight and should be removed. Later, a urologist questioned that diagnosis, but agreed that Chase would benefit generally from a circumcision.”

          • Speaksvolumes

            “…Chase, then 3, urinating on his leg.”
            LOL because 3 year olds only piss themselves due to foreskin problems.

            “…Chase’s foreskin was too tight…”
            Almost all boys are born with the foreskin fused with the underlying glans penis. Most also have a narrow foreskin that cannot retract. Non-retractile foreskin is normal at birth and remains common until after puberty (age 18).

            “…a urologist questioned that diagnosis…”
            Of course he did. Quack diagnoses have that effect.

            “…Chase would benefit generally from a circumcision.”
            No doubt because he believes that there is some ‘general’ benefit to having a circumcision, something that has been qualifiably disproven.

          • Nick Sanders

            I didn’t realize I was talking to a mind reader.

          • Speaksvolumes

            You’re not very bright so I’m not surprised.

            Cheers!

  • Ellen Mary

    And just FTR, Circ can only affect *female to male* transmission of HIV. That is the least likely route in the US and I have serious doubts about the ability to collect data on how prevalent it is in cultures where same sex relationships, especially between men are *criminalized*. Do you think people in criminalized relationships tell the truth about those relationships to foreign researchers?

    • SuperGDZ

      How do you think the males who transmit HIV *male to female* get HIV in the first place?

      • Ellen Mary

        From receptive intercourse, from IV drug use, from medical transmission, there are a lot of more common routes . . . Semen and blood are the primary fluids transmitting HIV, not vaginal fluids . . .

        • SuperGDZ

          Sorry, but where I live (South Africa), HIV is a major health issue and the facts do not bear out your assertions.

          • Ellen Mary

            What is the status of same sex relationships in your country? Are they accepted and celebrated so that no one would be scared to report same sex transmission?

          • Ellen Mary

            Also can you share some statistics on how heterosexual transmission female to male is much more prevalent in your country than the US, where it is the least common route?

          • SuperGDZ

            Have you considered that it might be the least common route _because_ of the high rate of male circumcision in the US?

          • Ellen Mary

            Yes, if it wasn’t also the least common route in Europe . . .

          • Ellen Mary

            http://www.avert.org/european-hiv-aids-statistics.htm

            Look hard at these stats. Do you suspect some reporting bias? Only 1% of transmission in Eastern Europe is from male to male sexual contact, yet in nearby Central Europe it is 27%? I also have a bridge I can sell you. What do you posit the Eastern Europeans are doing that almost totally eliminates male to male transmission?!?

          • SuperGDZ

            In South Africa, 25% of black African males aged 25–49 years have HIV. Even if every single gay black man had HIV, there would still be plenty of female to male transmission going on.

          • Ellen Mary

            Just posting the link to one of the studies you mentioned, because it was interesting . . .

            http://www.pnas.org/content/104/23/9794.full

          • Nick Sanders

            A strong culture of homophobia and high rates of intravenous drug use?

          • SuperGDZ

            As to the statistics, even in the US the CDC estimates the risk per sexual contact of female to male transmission (by way of vaginal sex) as 4 per 10,000, compared to the risk of male to female transmission, estimated as 8 per 10,000. While the difference is large, it is not so large as to render the risk of female to male transmission remote.

            The risk has been measured as even larger in African studies, for example a study conducted in Kenya – http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/191/4/546.full – estimated the risk of female to male transmission as 6 per 1,000 and further differentiated between circumcised men (almost 13 per 1,000) and uncircumcised men (5 per 1,000).

            With regard to nonsexual transmission, the article at http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/17469600.2.5.399#_i2 (published in Future HIV Therapy (September 2008, Vol. 2, No. 5, Pages 399-405, doi:10.2217/17469600.2.5.399) states in regard to the contention that “Many infections appear to be from nonsexual sources” that “This theory has been thoroughly repudiated by the WHO and virtually all reputable scientists” and refers (sorry, don’t have links) to White RG, Ben SC, Kedhar A et al.: Quantifying HIV-1 transmission due to contaminated injections Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA104,9794–9799 (2007) and to Schmid GP, Buvé A, Mugyenyi P et al.: Eliminating unsafe injections is important, but will have little impact on HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Lancet 363,82–88 (2004)

            The same article goes on to note that despite the fact that HIV rates are generally higher in the USA than in most European countries “it is noteworthy that the proportion of heterosexual transmission due to female-to-male (as opposed to male-to-female) infection appears to be far higher in Europe than in the USA, consistent with the influence of [male circumcision] and refers to Bailey RC, Halperin DT: Circumcision and HIV. Lancet35(9207),927 (2000) and to Gray RH, Quinn TC, Serwadda D et al.:The ethics of research in developing countries. N. Engl. J. Med.343,361

            See also Baeten et al. 2009. The Lancet, Volume 374, Issue 9685, Pages 182 – 184, 18. Male circumcision and HIV risks and benefits for women in regard to the impact of male circumcision on HIV transmissibility.

          • Gatita

            Thanks for these links, very interesting.

          • SuperGDZ

            Our constitution enshrines as a basic fundamental right the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation, and same sex marriages are recognised and carry equal legal weight to heterosexual marriages. What is the status of same sex relationships in your country?

        • Cobalt

          So the typical heterosexual HIV positive male is more likely to have gotten HIV from “receptive intercourse” than from regular heterosexual intercourse? Really?

          Straights don’t get HIV unless they are really gay? Or drug users?

      • me

        Could be in any number of ways: dirty needles, female to male transmission, or male to male transmission, and probably some others I’m not thinking of.

        You aren’t naive enough to believe that men who have sex with women are somehow less likely to use drugs than those who have sex with men? And I assume that you realize that bisexuality is a “thing”. And for closeted homosexuals it is not at all uncommon to have sex with men on the ‘down low’ but to still have a girlfriend, or wife, with whom he also engages in intercourse.

  • Ellen Mary

    And to Comrade X I say, crack a book. Ritual male tribal circumcision is pretty prevalent globally and DOES result in massive complications when it takes place outside of a hospital/medical setting.

    • Mattie

      That is awful, you know what else results in massive complications when it takes place outside of a hospital/medical setting, with unqualified nuts performing medical procedures? Birth. That happens in the US, babies and mothers die every single day from homebirth complications, so perhaps it’s best to fix your own country’s problems, because I bet more babies die from homebirth complications than die from tribal male circumcision.

  • Ellen Mary

    They weren’t ever married. AND he had permission to do the operation @ at any point in infancy. Instead he waited, because he was a broke dude paying only $200 a month in child support (that’s $50 a week) who simply slacked on doing something he already had permission to do. Now he wants to do it when they child is 4. It isn’t ‘needed’ when a child is 4, you either do it in infancy, or you wait until there is acute medical urgency OR the child can meaningfully consent, which is a minimum of 12 (the age a child can consent to HPV & HepB Vax & BCP in Cali) . . .

    This is wonton disregard for the basic mental state of a 4 year old boy. And yes, all my boys have foreskins and I could *maybe* hard sell Circ to my 9 year old, if I was wont to. But it is impossible to convince a 4 year old with *reason* to consent to loss of a part of his genitals.

    As it happens, my husband retained a large part of his foreskin due to prematurity and his parents slacking on coming up with the funds to do away with the remainder. And I have to say, it has an *entire* sexual function that a Circumcised penis lacks, which is the rolling/gliding mechanism, which makes intercourse far more pleasant for him AND for me.

    • yugaya

      “They weren’t ever married.”

      So what? In terms of custodial rights of parents married or not is irrelevant.

      • Poogles

        “So what? In terms of custodial rights of parents married or not is irrelevant.”

        Well, unfortunately it isn’t always that easy. For instance, in the US state I reside in, if the parents aren’t married at birth, the father has absolutely no rights unless both parents sign an Affidavit saying he is the father or get DNA testing to prove he is the father. So, in some cases, in some places, it may be relevant that the parents were not married.

        • yugaya

          Yes, that is the same here the signing of the statement at birth, but after the father is named on birth certificate his parental rights are the same regardless whether the child’s parents are married or not.

    • airmanjoe

      Your appeal falls on deaf ears to those who think mutilation is okay.

  • airmanjoe

    And the day that FGM victims are all rendered entirely incapable of having sex is the day anti-circ activists start taking that silly comparison of all FGM to a complete penectomy seriously.

  • NoUseForANym

    Circumcision pants off dance off made it here. Glad they’re getting the bemused wits toying with them. I hope they take the message to heart lol.

  • Dr. W

    A shaving nick and a decapitation could both be called cuts. Degree often matters. The relative loss of sensation between circumcision and FGM are orders of magnitude apart. It does not matter how many of you nut bars type in all caps, anyone who knows anything about how sensation in male and female genitals work, knows you are wrong. There are hundreds of millions of circumcised males leading full rich sex lives. The Internet has documented so many circumcised men having orgasms at this point, that I wonder what planet you live on. FGM makes orgasm almost always impossible. One of these groups can have lots and lots of orgasms, the other can never have any, ever. Why does that never penetrate your skulls?

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      I find that comparing male circumcision to FGM just serves to weaken the intactivist argument. It’s a bit like Godwin’s law – as soon as I hear someone compare the two, my brain instinctively discounts anything else they might have to say. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m more likely to be persuaded by a calm rational argument backed up by verifiable evidence than I am by ranting and hyperbole.

      • SporkParade

        Speaking of Godwin’s law, the rampant anti-Semitism probably doesn’t help.

        • Dr. W

          If I were going to force the Chosen to abandon an ancient tradition, I would force them to eat bacon. I am a strong believer in the culinary magic of the porcine. Sadly my morals prevent me from forcing people to experience deliciousness at gunpoint. Because I am not a sanctimonious jerk, I do not force people to abandon ancient faiths, no matter how mistaken I feel they are. Mmmmmm bacon….

          • SporkParade

            Really? I ate something cooked in bacon fat once, and I was severely underwhelmed. If it were my choice, I’d much rather be able to get a tattoo.

          • Dr. W

            Part of me knows that other people are different.

            Part of me wants to do the Darth Vader voice, “If only you knew the power of bacon!” No, I do not mean the chest pain. Totally worth it.

      • itry2brational

        “I’m more likely to be persuaded by a calm rational argument backed up by verifiable evidence than I am by ranting and hyperbole.”

        Then you shouldn’t be the least bit persuaded by by Tuteur’s irrational hyperbole…”The appalling spectacle of anti-circ activists obsessing over the penis of another person’s son”

        You *should* be persuaded by this calm, rational argument backed up by verifiable evidence.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeAXantm4tE

    • ml66uk

      The worst forms of female genital cutting are unquestionably worse than the usual form of western male circumcision, but the worst forms of male circumcision are also far worse than the lesser forms of female cutting. Over 100 males died of circumcision in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa last year, and there were at least two penile amputations and one castration.

      Google “ulwaluko” for gruesome photos of the results.

      Compare that with this: tinyurl zahras-circumcision

      Why would the procedure in that link be illegal in most western countries, yet this is legal:
      youtube bXVFFI76ff0

      FACT: women can still have orgasms after FGM, even the most severe type of infibulation: Pleasure and Orgasm in Women with Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) published in Journal of Sexual Medicine, Vol. 4, Issue 6, pp. 1666-78 (Oct. 23, 2007).

      Also, the culture in which female cutting is practiced and accepted has women practicing it. That is, generally it is women who are cutting the females or advocating the cutting.

      Also, other researchers found that female circumcision reduces the rate of HIV infection. Female circumcision and HIV infection in Tanzania: for better or for worse?

      I am not advocating FGM, but our culture looks at FGM as abhorrent, but we readily accept MGM. It is kinda hypocritical.

  • Whothehell Cares

    The sexist duplicity of this article is mind boggling. Reverse the genders and see whether you feel the same way. And before you rave on about FGM and MGM are not the same. You are right they are not the same. But they are both GENITAL MUTILATION, and they are both medically unneccessary.

    The only possible reason I could see for any Doctor to be pro genital mutilation, is because they are profiting from performing it, or from harvesting the foreskin to sell it.

    • Gatita

      How much do doctors charge for circumcision? Who would buy the foreskins? How much do the foreskins cost? What do the buyers use them for?

      • Annoyed

        facial creams last time i checked. i think a company oprah winfrey promotes uses them to help women look younger. they actually make a lot of money from it.

        • Gatita

          ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ HO. LEE. SHIT. *backs slowly out of thread*

          • Cobalt

            I thought that was just the magical breast milk.

          • Annoyed

            asked and answered.

          • Cobalt

            But not answered honestly.

          • Annoyed

            foreskins are taken from normal healthy kids for huge profit. the kids are abused and in america it seems to be normal. don’t tell me you approve of child abuse too.

          • Cobalt

            I very much disapprove of child abuse. Telling a child that being circumcised means he is damaged, broken, and not a “real man” is very much abusive.

            Circumcision, having very little effect on how his body functions while potentially reducing some health risks, is not abuse.

          • Gatita

            This person thinks that Oprah is paying for baby foreskins Cruella DeVille-style and using them to make luxury cosmetics. Time to stop trying to logic him.

          • Whothehell Cares

            Oprah would never endorse the use of foreskin for reasons of vanity.?

            http://www.ecouterre.com/oprah-draws-criticism-for-endorsing-face-cream-made-from-foreskins/

            Widely reported across the Internet and Mainstream media news.

            https://www.google.com.au/#q=oprah+foreskin+wrinkle+cream

          • Gatita

            Huh, you learn something new everyday. I read the links and it’s actually really cool. Foreskins have cells called fibroblasts that can be used to grow artificial skin for burn victims and culture human embryonic stem cells, among other things. And yes it’s also used for cosmetics. But one foreskin can be used for decades-worth of cultivation so it’s not like they are ground up into powder. I don’t think there’s a convincing argument to be made that circumcision is being driven by a profit motive.

            ETA: From an Ottowa Citizen articlearticle: The company could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but has previously explained that it does not use foreskins in the production of the cream, and has not since the original one was used to develop the line of cells nearly two decades ago. (There was actually nothing special about the foreskin — any baby skin would have worked, but foreskins were the available source).

          • Gatita

            I also have to point out that the name of the organization protesting Oprah is the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project: CAN-FAP. This shit writes itself, folks.

          • Mattie

            I love it when people don’t realise the initials spell something daft 🙂

          • Medwife

            Oh I think CAN-FAP knew exactly what their acronym spelled!

          • demodocus

            Well, that’s a smidge icky enough for me.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Huge profit for whom? How much? How is it divided between the people making the profit? How is it that you can’t demonstrate that anyone is making a profit?

          • monojo

            Lol, have you stopped beating your wife?

          • Gatita
        • attitude devant

          GMAFB. Until recently I was the dastardly circumcisor. And let me tell you, sweetie: we throw that precious foreskin right in the biohazard. Sorry to disappoint.

        • Houston Mom

          Skinmedica, the company in question, says they grow the cell line used in their product from a single foreskin removed nearly twenty years ago.http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-7356-the-$140-million-foreskin.html

      • Monkey Professor for a Head

        I seem to remember that when I did a rotation through a burns unit as a med student, they used dressings impregnated with cells from foreskins with pretty good results. Although that was close to 10 years ago so I could be mistaken.

      • Whothehell Cares

        If you are genuinely interested, all the information as well as mis-information, like the content of this current article, is at your keyboard fingertips.

        Here’s a start …. https://www.google.com.au/#q=foreskin+cosmetic+use

      • SporkParade

        I don’t know about where you are, but the standard rate in Israel is about $300. Since most people have it done at private venues rather than hospitals or medical clinics, that means that the doctor is essentially doing a house call with all that entails.

      • settingshadow

        As someone who “profits” from foreskins: we use foreskin cells in our research as normal skin cells to compare to diseased human skin cells. I have been in the lab for nearly two years, and gone through literally billions of cells from three foreskins (and that’s just me. The three lines are used by five people in my lab and shared with other labs), which I suspect will continue to last for dozens of years.
        We get them for free as “discarded medical tissue.” It would be kind of annoying if it stopped, because it’s nice to get healthy human skin, (and I’m a pediatric researcher so skin from kids is better) but we would survive and instead use a little bit of excess skin from surgical incisions, healthy margins from tumor excisions or similar discarded healthy skin.

        And before anyone asks, We used umbilical cords the same way. So please, go on and tell me about how delayed cord clamping is being kept down for the “profit”

      • Bugsy

        For some reason, I keep coming back to a mental picture of foreskin art, like the placenta art that’s become popular in some NCB groups…

        • Cobalt

          Don’t give them any ideas. You know they’d actually turn something that ridiculous into the next great idea.

          • Bugsy

            Yeah, but then can’t I get a share of the profits for coming up with such an awesome idea!?

    • Beatrix S.L

      Did you miss the part about medical necessity?

      • Whothehell Cares

        Read up on the whole story about the Hironomus case. You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t seen this case in recent weeks on just about every news outlet. Their is no medical condition that this boy is suffering from that requires corrective surgery. None.

        He is a 4, nearly 5 year old boy, who doesn’t wan’t his penis mutilated, and is being forced to undergo GM by a pig headed father for no legitimate medical reason.

        How ironic, that this man would very likely be charged with assault and child abuse if he tried to force his son to have a tattoo, yet a court backs his right to insist on lopping off his foreskin.

        • Nick Sanders

          Well, since I somehow haven’t seen this case until now, I must be one of those people living under a rock. So how about providing some sources for your claims?

    • Tiffany Aching

      Oh yeah. And replace “tonsillectomy” with “bilateral amputation of the legs” in an article about strep infections and it is very disturbing too.

    • Nick Sanders

      Except too tight foreskins are totally a thing, and sometimes it actually can be someone’s best medical interest to have theirs removed.

  • Liz Leyden

    I’m outraged that a little boy is being used as a pawn by his divorcing parents. If the parents couldn’t agree, why didn’t the boy have a GAL? Why does the world need to know whether or not he has been circumcised? Why did the mother allow an anti-circ activist group to get anywhere near this?

    • Cobalt

      The parents did agree. Then the mother needed something to pick a fight over, and found intactivists ready and waiting to support her. She’s using the intactivists to get back at her ex boyfriend, with complete disregard for the child’s welfare.

      • Maya Markova

        No, the father suddenly decided to enforce the 3-yr-old agreement, knowing that the mother had changed her mind.

        • Cobalt

          Which is, in truth, an asshole move for him to keep pushing the issue past early infancy.

      • cosmopolite

        How do you know that it wasn’t the father who picked this fight?
        How do you know that circumcision promotes the child’s welfare?
        I am a parent. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it is that life is a journey of discovery in which we make mistakes and maybe learn from them.
        Chase’s mother discovered why routine infant circumcision is a mistake of American medicine, several months after agreeing to it. The timing of the steps in her life journey as a mother falls short of the ideal. But parents should be allowed to change, especially when the matter at stake does not involve money, custody, visitation, or anything that the law mandates or forbids.

        The mother is poor and her child support is a paltry $200/month. She cannot accomplish anything without a helping hand from others. I do not blame her for reaching out for a helping hand.

  • Dr. W

    The saddest thing is that the mother is going to make sure Chase is traumatized. This band of crazies now need for Chase to become a public figure. We will have crying YouTube videos in a year.

    The replies might as well be bots.

    • Bugsy

      Yes…and that the status of his penis has been broadcast everywhere. Poor kid.

      • Mattie

        all the while going on about his human rights, while conveniently forgetting the right to privacy…the hypocrisy is actually outstanding

      • “My baby was VIOLATED, boo hoo hoo!”

        Meanwhile, his medical condition has been corrected and he’s going to live thinking that he’s a defect because of a bitter mother telling him so. :/ I’d hate to be his therapist.

        • Cobalt

          Reminds me of the NCB advocates working tirelessly to convince women that because they’ve had a cesarean, they are broken, damaged, and not “real” mothers because they didn’t “really” give birth. It’s the same need for power and validation driving the lie, and its just as bogus.

          There is nothing wrong with a circumcised penis. It does all the same stuff as an uncircumcised penis, just without needing to “roll up it sleeves” first, and with a reduced chance of infection. Telling men there is something horrifically wrong with them because of the absence of a flap of skin is as ignorant as telling a woman there is something horrific about her cesarean scar.

          • Annoyed

            c-section is ok if you’ve got consent. the issue here is of informed, legal consent. a boy can’t give consent.

          • Cobalt

            A child also cannot consent to being born one way or another. Parents have to weigh the risks and benefits and make the choice that makes sense for their individual situation.

          • Annoyed

            you can’t abuse kids and claim you have a right as the parent. butchering boys is wrong.

          • Cobalt

            If the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, parents have an ethical obligation, not just a right, to have it done.

            And circumcision isn’t butchering, it’s a minor surgery with risks and benefits like any other. For some, the benefits outweigh the risks, for others it doesn’t, and that’s all there is to it. What little functional difference there is relates to the little bit of extra time cleaning under the flap.

          • Simon Waters (Surevine)

            It seems unlikely the benefits outweigh the risks. Many of the original studies were poorly controlled for STD, and most when controlled show no benefit. Circumcision seems to offer some benefit for HIV, although I don’t think the evidence is that compelling. Seems circumcised adult males have fewer STD in studies, but not if they are circumcised as infants, may simply be researchers are underestimating the effect on male sexual performance of adult circumcision. If they are sore and not having sex they won’t get STD.

            Bleeding is a common problem with infant circumcision. Infections to wounds less common but still why would you risk your baby. The reduction in HIV risk is unclear. As far as I can tell there are no studies on risk of transmission to women by status, so the push to do it as preventative seems premature.

            If you want to avoid HIV, abstain, use a condom, or get both of you tested. Although if you are not promiscuous the absolute risk with a new partner is pretty low.

            When your baby is 18, HIV will be largely in the history books in the industrialised world thanks to treatments which reduce viral levels in blood. So infant circumcision to prevent HIV is clearly silly. So it in unneeded medical procedure and would be stopped if people were rational.

            The specific story depends on the whether the boy has a medical condition for which it would help, for which there is conflicting public information from medical witnesses.

            The story portrayed here was of a woman jailed until/unless she consented, this is not consent.

          • SporkParade

            The position of the AAP is that the benefits outweight the risks, but not enough that circumcision ought to be recommended as a routine medical procedure. This was a very recent update to their previous position, which was that the risks and benefits were about equal. Since different parents assign different weights to the various risks and benefits, it should be the choice of the parents in the absence of a specific medical indication.

          • Simon Waters (Surevine)

            The AAP are out of line with other organisations on this.

            My suspicion is it is a case of physicians not willing to accept what they do is basically inflicting pain on boys for no reason.

            Compare and contrast:

            http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Circumcision/Pages/Introduction.aspx

          • Daleth

            I agree, Simon. Every other industrialized nation (with the obvious exception of Israel) recommends slightly against it, by which I mean their equivalent of the AAP says the risks outweigh the benefits. Germany effectively banned it, actually, without even a religious exemption, which has not gone over well. IMHO there should be a religious exemption.

          • Guestll

            Canadian Pediatric Society doesn’t recommend it either. In my neck of the woods (major Canadian city) it’s very difficult to find a ped who will do it. Nobody circumcises in my family, or my circle. The American zeal for circumcision is quite astonishing to me.

          • Simon Waters (Surevine)

            I think the key issue is it is post-hoc rationalisation.

            It clearly damages boys, infection, bleeding, occasional adverse reaction to anesthetic. This is unanswerable. So we shouldn’t have been doing it. Now someone proposes it might have medical benefits and people leap on these without asking such as are there less aggressive ways to avoid AIDS.

            If you believe the touted medical papers European boys would be rife with UTI, and STD, but they aren’t.

            The last UTI paper said 111 circumcisions to prevent one UTI, given the complication rate you’d be daft to propose it for that reason.

            Let’s be honest, most circumcision are abusing boys for cultural reasons, not for the medical benefits.

          • Nick Sanders

            I know I feel so abused…

          • Cobalt

            She did consent. Then she changed her mind because she wanted to annoy the father. Then she made contact with intactivists and handed her son’s genitals to the internet in an attempt to validate her choice and pretend the whole point was something other than an excuse for fighting with the father.

            She was jailed for contempt of court, after she hid the child. Her motives are to gain attention and approval for her excuse for fighting with the father. Her child’s well being isn’t a concern for her.

          • Maya Markova

            I am troubled by the lengths to which some commenters here go in order to vilify this mother. Don’t you think she might just have changed her mind?

          • Cobalt

            She got Intact America involved with her preschooler in order to publicize his genitals! There’s a Facebook page, and, of course, a fundraiser.

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the father is any exemplar either. But publicly humiliating your child, attaching his name and face to a fringe activist group, is just beyond the pale.

          • Nick Sanders

            Changing her mind is one thing. Absconding with a child and refusing to respect custody transfer is another.

          • Charybdis

            Each parent has to weigh the facts, pros and cons and then make the best decision for their child.. And different people look at the facts differently. For example, (and I’m just making up some numbers here), lets say the benefits of circumcision reduce the risk of certain cancers and the risks of diseases by 80%, and the chance of complications from the circumcision are 3-5%. Some parents, including me, see it as a risk worth taking; why wouldn’t I want to give my child an advantage in the health arena, especially now with the anti-vaxxers running amok (hepatitis and hpv, anyone?). And others would argue that the 5% chance of an adverse reaction /event is too big a risk to take. Neither is wrong, per se, it’s just how you view and process the facts. I think it’s rather incongruous for people to harp on circumcisions, but have absolutely no qualms about excessive and extensive tattooing and/or piercing or other body modifications.

          • yugaya

            Circumcision is not child abuse. It is also not butchering. I’m sure you intactavists enjoy your loaded register when you speak to each other, but using it to speak to anyone outside of your agenda bubble only makes you sound pathetic.

          • demodocus

            My in-laws did not ask my husband’s permission to remove his cataracts and later his cornea, either. I’m sure if they’d waited until he was 4 and dropped this medical bombshell on him as mutilation, he would have adamantly refused, too.

          • Yeah, exactly. Foreskins are cool, it’s okay to have them and awesome for parents to leave it up to their children when they’re grown, but if a man doesn’t have one because of a medical condition or whatever, he’s still fine, nothing is wrong with him. That’s what these people are insensitive to, HB and intactivists.

        • Maya Markova

          He has no medical condition. Having a foreskin is no medical condition, it is how boys are born.

          • My nephew had phimosis and it was exceedingly painful. After several infections and manual attempts to alleviate his discomfort, a surgeon recommended that he be circumcised. He did, hasn’t had pain or a single infection since then, and I’ll be damned if he grows up thinking he’s a broken dicked freak because he was born differently than little boys who didn’t need circumcised.

            I’m anti-circ, but this judgment towards situations about which you have nothing needs to stop.

      • Annoyed

        loss of privacy versus loss of foreskin? tough call. not.

        • DaisyGrrl

          Let’s check back when the kid is 12 and his friends google his name and find this mess. I suspect he’d be more upset about the loss of privacy than the loss of his foreskin (unless his mother manages to fill his head with how “traumatized” he should feel).

        • Mattie

          you’re right, one is a human right, the other is a foreskin

    • Ellen Mary

      Crack a book friend, the mother is prohibited from seeing the boy for 90 days around the operation . . . He also has to leave the state because no doctor in Florida wants to get involved in this circumcision under general . . .

      • Cobalt

        And when she sees him she’s not going to make sure he knows he’s damaged goods who should be traumatized over the surgery? She’s already thrown his body to the intactivists to publicly discuss his private parts and have his name go down in internet history for his genitals. She has the rest of his life to tell him how broken he is.

      • momofone

        I don’t think not seeing him for 90 days has any bearing on her need to communicate how she sees him. Based on her behavior and poor judgment to this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if she communicated via the media while she doesn’t have direct access. Hopefully his father has better judgment.

        • Maya Markova

          Oh yes, the behavior of the father so far shows superb judgement!

          • momofone

            Actually they both come off as total asses, but my understanding is that she is the person who sought media involvement over her son’s privacy.

    • Maya Markova

      The father can easily prevent this by renouncing his determination to circumcise his son.

    • ml66uk

      The crazies here are the father and the judge. We’d never have heard of any of these people if the father had scheduled the circumcision for when the boy was an infant, or if hadn’t decided almost three years later that he wanted to take legal action to have it done.

  • Mom2Many

    I’ll be honest, not a fan of circumcision. So, I didn’t do that to my own sons. Obviously however I have no say over my foster sons, and this one particular Dad insisted that his son be circumcised since he (dad) had recently converted to Catholicism and as he said to me, ‘everyone knows that it’s part of the Catholic religion’. Say what?
    That was 3 months ago. Just found out last week that the DNA test came back and Dad is not the Dad. Awesome. So glad that my little guy suffered through that procedure-no anesthetic given since it was optional and ‘Dad’ didn’t see the need for it-as well as the 2 days of crying every time he peed.

    • Cobalt

      What a jerk. Glad the kid is in more caring hands than his.

    • rh1985

      that’s awful that they wouldn’t automatically give anesthetic

    • Sarah

      Circumcision is not in any way shape or form part of the Catholic religion!

      • Mom2Many

        I KNOW!!! I tried to gently question him on that, but he was adamant. In terms of pain relief, I am sickened by the fact that it is optional-and the pain relief option is Tylenol or a numbing ‘Emla’ cream brought from home. They simply do not give pain relief at that clinic. 🙁

        • Daleth

          I know an L&D nurse who tells me there’s a doctor at the hospital where she works–an excellent, huge maternity hospital–who doesn’t use pain relief EVEN WHEN THE PARENTS REQUEST IT. They request it and get billed for it, and he doesn’t use it!!!!!!!!!! If he’d done that to us I would have called the cops. But we chose not to circumcise.

        • Sarah

          I’m very sorry you all had to go through that.

    • Mattie

      This is awful 🙁 and can’t actually believe he was not given pain relief…it wasn’t the baby’s choice, and even if it was, choice doesn’t remove pain.

    • Guestll

      Yeah, no. I’m Catholic, as is my family of origin, we don’t circumcise. He’s full of it or sadly misinformed. Disgusted that no anesthetic was used, ugh.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    Serious question. Do you people just Google “circumcision” all day and parachute in with your prepared speeches to stomp out all opposition?

    Ever thought of taking up painting instead?

    • Mattie

      sitting here wondering what Freud would make of ‘intactivism’

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Sometimes a penis is just a penis? 😀

      • Nick Sanders

        I think this may be the best use for a time machine I’ve ever heard.

    • Gatita

      Google Alerts: Tool of Satan in the hands of fanatics.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Oh my gosh. I didn’t know this existed.

        Do you know how tempting it is to just make webpages with only the word “circumcision” on it just to mess with these people?!

        • Bugsy

          How about “circumcision” + “lactivism” on the same page? Heads could explode.

        • Annoyed

          kind of a creepy guy to joke about child abuse like that.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Kind of sad that you must live every day with such anger.

          • Annoyed

            to stop the abuse of kids by people with a profit motive, i would do anything

          • monojo

            Thank God you’re here on this blog, where you’re making a real difference! /s

          • Box of Salt

            Annoyed “joke about child abuse”

            Just don’t.

    • MLE

      The first principle of effective persuasion – LISTENING – has never occurred to them, clearly.

      • Annoyed

        sorry, but you can’t listen to people who promote the butchering of little boys.

        • MLE

          Well talking at them certainly works wonders. Please continue your broadcast uninterrupted.

    • yugaya

      This blog is like an open invitation to the craziest of the crazy internet activism. In most cases your friendly next door intactavist parachuter is bound to outdo the NCB’s finest examples of batshit insane like Carla Hartley. This is going to be fun. 😀

      • Oh, I hang out on atheist feminist blogs too. You think the whackos are bad here? You should see some of the misogynist Christian trolls* we get over there!

        *This is not to say all Christians are trolls or misogynist, because of course they aren’t. We just get some real, uh, gems of humanity over there. A lot of them are parachuting in to defend Josh Duggar right now, so I’m a little annoyed at the moment.

        • yugaya

          The worst I’ve noticed re Duggar case online is the overwhelming quantity of automisogyny in the comments coming from Christian women.

          • Oh, I’ve seen that too, but there’s been a whole lot worse.

            I’ve seen people arguing that people are overreacting, it’s sexual sin just like masturbating or watching porn or letting your teenage son go to Disneyland unchaperoned with his girlfriend, everyone sins, stop throwing stones people! I’ve seen people argue that Josh apologized anyways, so really why is it a big deal? I’ve seen people argue it was just a teenage mistake, doesn’t everyone make mistakes when they’re 14 and 15? And I’ve seen an awful lot of Jesus forgives so why all the fuss?

            So yeah. It’s pretty rage-inducing, and while the automisogyny is really sad and horrifying, it’s definitely not the worst thing out there.

  • Arch Hold

    It’s genital mutilation. I was never circumcised and there are few things I wouldn’t do to stop you or anyone cutting off the end of my penis. You are a bunch of atavistic savages if you believe this practice is recommendable, or even if you have no opposition to it. So there you have it.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      So if you lost your penis in an accident, let’s say car crash and resulting fire burning until nothing was savalagable, you’d lose your entire identity?

      Because what I see above is “The intactness of my penis entirely dictates who I am.”

      Hee. “Dictates.”

      • Arch Hold

        What kind of reply is this, seriously? If I lost my arm I wouldn’t lose my identity. I still wouldn’t want you to cut off my arm for fun, or because you think it’s a neat idea.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Then stop acting like it is your entire identity and maybe I wouldn’t come to equally ridiculous conclusions.

          • Arch Hold

            What is the matter with you people? People have autonomy of their bodies. Not allowing you to cut pieces off of other’s bodies is not an identity problem. It’s simply arguing against a pointless, cruel and stupid practice that is founded in superstition and totally pointless. Have you ever heard a baby crying during a ritual circumcision?

          • Mom2Many

            Yes I have. I did not want to be there for the procedure for my 2 week old foster son, but I had to be there so that the aftercare of his penis could be properly explained to me. I listened to that poor child cry (no freezing or pain med given as it was optional and Dad felt that son would be fine without it) for 2-3 minutes and then passed out cold in the waiting room. Good times. NOT.

          • Gatita

            I’m surprised the father had to option to refuse pain relief for the baby because that is NOT standard of care. The APA recommends pain relief for all circumcisions.

            Arch, you keep saying the practice is totally pointless but there’s a growing body of evidence that circumcision helps prevent HIV, HPV and other STDs. Now you can argue that it doesn’t matter what the benefits are because they are trumped by the baby’s right to bodily autonomy, but intactivists never make that argument because they refuse to concede there are any medical benefits at all.

          • Houston Mom

            My son had pain medicine during his circumcision and it was not presented as optional. My husband and I both went with him for the procedure. He didn’t cry. He never seemed in any pain from it at all. He would scream like he was on fire if he had gas, so if he didn’t make a peep from the circumcision, I am assuming he wasn’t in a lot of pain.

          • momofone

            Our son had pain medicine, and in fact slept through the whole procedure. Not what’s presented in some of the propaganda at all.

          • Simon Waters (Surevine)

            There is a vaccine for HPV, it is safer than circumcision and more effective. They’ll probably be one for AIDS before a baby born now makes sexual debut.

          • Cobalt

            In order for vaccines to work as a public health measure to eliminate disease, people need to get vaccinated in high enough numbers. Have you seen the anti-vax movement? They call rabies a psychosomatic illness and try to treat HIV (if they acknowledge it’s existence) with vitamin C and colloidal silver. They use bleach enemas to heal and detox children who have been exposed to vaccines.

            Vaccination isn’t reliable, not because the vaccines are problematic, but because too many people listen to alternative medicine scare sites instead of actual medical professionals.

          • SporkParade

            Yes, I have heard a baby cry during a ritual circumcision. Things that my baby reacted to worse than being circumcised include: a tummy ache from breastfeeding after I ate onions, being dressed after having a nice bath, getting blood drawn, and having an abscess lanced.
            By the way, I do know people who voluntarily underwent ritual circumcision as adults because the Soviet Union prohibited it when they were children. They tend to feel a deep sense that their right to undergo a cherished cultural ritual was violated.

        • Mattie

          but what if your arm was causing you almost constant pain and the only solution left was amputation?

          • Arch Hold

            That’s a different matter altogether. I’m talking about ritualistic circumcisions that are done without a medical basis.

          • Mattie

            ahh you should have made that clear, considering the article you’re commenting on is about a child being circumcised for medical reasons

          • Arch Hold

            That was clear to me. But the wider argument of the article is supporting circumcision generally, as are most of the below the line comments.

          • Cobalt

            Actually, what the commenters here support is informed consent, evidence based medical care, and choice.

            So if you show up spouting a bunch of bullshit that isn’t supported by science, you’ll get called on it. If you make claims that circumcision causes penile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, or doesn’t have benefits, you will be asked for evidence to support your claims, and be given evidence that demonstrates that your position is based on lies.

            Note: evidence means good quality peer reviewed published studies, not whatever’s on the back of the Fruit Loops box this morning.

          • Annoyed

            consent for who? the boy?

          • Cobalt

            The safest time to circumcise is in early infancy. The parents have to choose, as infants are unable to do so. If the parents find the benefits outweigh the risks, they are obligated to consent on the child’s behalf.

          • Annoyed

            it’s called butchering and it will be banned.

          • Cobalt

            It’s not butchering. There is no difference in healthy functions, and a potential (if elective) or definite (if medically indicated) reduction in disorders.

            If that’s “butchering”, then feeding your baby with a spoon is “food rape”.

          • Simon Waters (Surevine)

            Is there much evidence for age increasing risk in circumcision?

            I found one paper which quoted a large number of studies which have since been repudiated. There are slightly more complications reported in adult males, but that is easily accounted by their ability to talk about their experience.

            No study was based on proper trial, serious complication rates are similar. Some infants die from anesthetic, a risk which presumable will drop with age, or by not using anesthetic (try that on an adult male).

          • Maya Markova

            No, there are no medical reasons for the circumcision of this child – at least none we know about.

          • Mattie

            so, just because you don’t know means it doesn’t exist…that’s one hell of an ego

    • StThomas

      Had you thought about adopting a more nuanced, evidence based approach?

      • Arch Hold

        That’s not my prerogative but yours. You don’t realise that you are supporting a pre-historical ritual which was founded in superstition rather than medicine. The only reason it survives is because it rarely causes serious long-term harm – not because it has been shown to cause long-term benefits. The parts of your body are there for a reason and religious people don’t have a right to cut them off because they think it’s neat.

        • StThomas

          I am a medical person not a religious one (sadly the two are not always mutually exclusive) Preputioplasy and circumcision are occasionally indicated. Though being a British Dr, I don’t really see what Americans have against foreskins.

          • yugaya

            There was some nonsense improvingbirth-type of campaign in my part of the world that requested all maternity hospitals be made “mother friendly” and produced a ten point manifesto. Local parenting website refuted all ten points easily, and the most hilarious one was the request to end recommending circumcision, because it is neither a religious tradition nor medical recommendation practiced there.

          • NoUseForANym

            It’s definitely a religious practice there. Jews AND Muslims both do it and it’s accepted.

        • Box of Salt

          Arch Hold “The parts of your body are there for a reason”

          Such as the appendix and wisdom teeth?

        • SporkParade

          So you admit that it rarely causes serious long-term harm. Why are you so opposed to it, then?

        • Nick Sanders

          “rarely causes serious long-term harm”

          Yet merely not opposing it strongly enough to please you makes one an atavistic savage. Interesting.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Well, I am sure you win a lot of friends and influence with that attitude.

      • Arch Hold

        Lol these conversations make me laugh so much because you are all so hypocritical and you cannot see past it. You would never support the cutting of body parts of baby girls, or animals, or of anything that wasn’t a child’s foreskin. It’s incredible.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          I supported my friend who cut off two fingers from her baby boy because he had a double fused thumb on one hand and two full thumbs on the other. So, you can try to make friends with someone else, little one.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          I suggest you look up “gelding”. Or spaying. Or neutering.

          Try again.

        • Nick Sanders

          I’d support it if two doctors they were taken to said it would be beneficial for them.

    • Cobalt

      My uncircumcised ex insisted that if we ever had sons they be circumcised. He disliked his intact foreskin, but because he didn’t have any medical problems with it insurance wouldn’t cover having it removed. He truly wished his mother had had him circumcised as a baby, saving him the trouble.

      • Speaksvolumes

        Well based on that anecdote about your ex we can end the debate! One dude didn’t like his foreskin and wished his mommy had had him cut! Circumcisions for everyone!

        • Cobalt

          It’s more a demonstration that there can be totally legitimate non medical reasons to have it done. Having a foreskin isn’t any kind of guaranty of anything, including happiness.

      • Ellen Mary

        Do you think he disliked it because he lived in a culture that despises foreskins? Because a lot of women dislike their small breasts too, that is why they save up the money to enhance them, but that doesn’t mean there is something inherently wrong with small breasts, it means that culture is extremely powerful.

        • Mattie

          “that doesn’t mean there is something inherently wrong with small breasts” generally no, you’re right. However in some cases small breasts signify an insufficient amount of glandular tissue, which means women are not able to breastfeed. That is a medical condition, and if there was a simple procedure to fix it many women would (although formula is a perfectly acceptable substitute).

        • Cobalt

          He lives in a culture where about half of his peers are uncircumcised, and he never had a partner that cared one way or the other, so I don’t think that had anything to do with it. He didn’t like the way it felt or the stuff he had to clean out of it, and had no emotional or psychological investment in that little bit of skin to make it worth the little bit of effort it took to maintain it.

      • Linden

        My husband *tore* his foreskin, twice, during sex. The first with a previous partner, apparently, and once with me. The time he was with me, he was in pain. I just about hyperventilated.He told me the previous time had been worse.

        I’ve not had my son circumcised because there were no medical reasons to, and the cultural reasons weren’t that important to me. Saying that, I’ve had sex with both circumcised and uncircumcised men. There was no loss of function, nobody agonised over their lost foreskins because it wasn’t a big deal. It just wasn’t.

        I’m all for cleanliness and adequate pain relief during the procedure, but apart from that, it is not my business. Because this is not FGM, people.

        • Cobalt

          I’ve had multiple partners with and without, and there was really no difference.

    • Did you read the entire post? The little boy had a medical condition. I’m anti-circ (male and female) but when it comes down to a lifetime of urinary ailments, there’s something wrong that needs corrected and can be done with a minimal of surgical removal.

      • Ellen Mary

        The inability to retract the foreskin (what the boy was nominally diagnosed with) can’t be diagnosed as 4 year olds are generally not retractable yet. AND here is a shocker for you: you don’t retract the foreskin to urinate!!!

        • Mattie

          Actually normal development shows separation of the foreskin at between the ages of 2 and 6, so it varies with each kid, 4 would technically be average. As we’re not the child’s doctors we don’t actually know what the issue is. One doctor said phimosis the other said it wasn’t phimosis but the recommended treatment was still circumcision

          • Maya Markova

            No, the doctor just said that it is nice for a male to be circumcised, benefits-over-risks and so on.

          • Nick Sanders

            Do you have a transcript of what the doctor said?

          • Mattie

            yeh, gosh darn those benefits over risks

        • One of my nephews with phimosis had to have a surgical intervention as an infant. You don’t know more than the surgeon about that child’s penis, nor do you this one. Court orders aren’t thrown about for fun, and neither is surgery. Most doctors, believe it or not, are not in favor of doing it unless a problem exists.

        • Dr Kitty

          Ellen Mary there are two kinds of phimosis.
          Physiological and pathological.

          Just because physiological phimosis can be normal until the age of 6, doesn’t mean that pathological phimosis and BXO can’t also exist in this age group.

          I’m in the UK, we don’t routinely circ, and when we do circ it is after using steroid creams and other strategies first, and the surgery is usually under GA with good post op analgesia.

          THERE ARE STILL CASES WHICH MEDICALLY REQUIRE CIRCUMCISION IN THE UNDER 7 AGE GROUP.

          • Wren

            In the UK here. My son had a steroid cream prescribed as a baby for phimosis which was causing him pain. The steroid cream sorted him out within a couple of weeks and it hasn’t reappeared since. He is now 9. I am not pro-circumcision for my own child just for fun, but had he needed it, he would have had it.

            I am glad we were in the UK and the general approach was to avoid circumcision, as a cream was much easier for me to handle than surgery.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “AND here is a shocker for you: you don’t retract the foreskin to urinate!!!”

          With a normal penis and normal foreskin, the foreskin is no barrier to urination. But if you have a penis variant (like a slight hypospadius) or a foreskin abnormality (stenotic opening), then yes, the foreskin may represent a barrier. Every time the child goes to urinate, the urine pools up behind the foreskin blocking the way. This can lead to a number of problems including recurrent UTIs, irritated or infected glans, and inability to create a stream of urine (and instead the urine just slowly leaks out of the penis, dribbling down your leg).

          Have you seen any of these in real life Ellen Mary? Have you watched a kid try to pee with these conditions? Have you seen a foreskin ballooning up with urine and leaking out all over. Have you treated a pediatric balanitis or pyelonephritis? Because I have.

      • Maya Markova

        He had no medical condition.

    • Nick Sanders

      I was circumcised. I’m somehow not a broken shell of a half-man. Calm down.

  • Bugsy

    Two light-hearted comments:

    -I’m impressed by how fast this thread is moving. Disqus could barely keep up with the new comments as I read from the bottom up.
    -My 2-year-old saw the picture at the top of today’s post and said “I want candy, mommy!” Yeah, honey – those aren’t quite gummy bears.

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      But he’s trying to communicate with you, Bugsy! He wants the gummy penises because he feels inadequet about his own because if a choice you did or did not make!

      I am making your kid’s fascination with candy my business because this is the internet and everything is my business and my defer to my opinion. No matter how silly it is!

      Rawr!

      • Bugsy

        LMAO. I was waiting for someone to criticize me for my son’s knowing what gummy bears are, obviously a sign that I give him artificial colors and sugars (and GMOs, of course!). Your reply caught me completely off-guard and was awesome.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          I aim to please, m’dear. 😀

      • momofone

        Don’t forget that they probably eat gummy penises in Europe with very few ill effects!

        • Mattie

          we do 😉

        • Bugsy

          Yes, but those ones are GMO-free (or at least labeled accordingly).

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          OBJECTION!

          Haribo is a German company! Haribo also created the dreaded sugar free gummy bears! Read the reviews for yourself!
          http://www.amazon.com/Haribo-Sugar-Free-Gummy-Bears/dp/B008JELLCA

          ‘Merica.

          • Bugsy

            The Haribo gummy bears that used to be made in Spain tasted so much better than the ones they make now in Turkey…when I was in Florida, I actually contacted the company to see if I could still find any of the better ones!

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Good to know!

        • Gatita

          Literal LOL!

    • MLE

      She has used this graphic before, and last time I had a severe craving for gummy whatevers as well. Bears, penises, piles of poop, wouldn’t matter to me.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    I’ve talked to my husband about this extensively. This is his stance: “Why would I want to invest all of my identity into a few inches of skin? Isn’t that misandry by reducing a man to the sum of his sexual organs?”

    • Bugsy

      My guess is also that our husbands have devoted a lot less concern to the presence (or lack thereof) of their own foreskins than activists do. A topic of discussion? Nope. Willingness to lament over their missing parts or brag about their intact male parts? Not on the agenda in the least.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Yeah, normally this wouldn’t even be a topic but we’re getting ready to have kids and with all this contradicting and frankly crazy information floating around, I wanted to know his stance if we had a son. Given that he’s in possession of the organ in question, I figured I would defer to his judgment.

        Otherwise we talk about in more in the context of the the internet has allowed fringe groups to communicate. Human communications and the different methods of facilitating that communication is a topic that fascinates both of us.

        • Bugsy

          Similar conversations to ours. I think the only time it’s come up as a true source of discussion was when we found out Toddler Bugsy would be a boy.

      • Annoyed

        i guess all those in favour of butchering kids must be american. nothing against americans, but there is something a bit strange that so many of you seem to accept mutilation as part of normal life. well done to those of you who are fighting to end the barbaric culture of circumcision.

      • Cobalt

        I had a boyfriend lament over his intact parts. He would rather have been circumcised. There wasn’t anything medically wrong with his foreskin, he just didn’t like it.

        • ml66uk

          Anyone who wants to get circumcised later in life can go right ahead and do it. It’s not possible for men circumcised as infants to become intact though, which is a pretty good reason to wait. Only about 10% of the world’s men were circumcised as infants anyway so it’s not like it has to be done early, and 70% of the world’s men (88% of the world’s non-Muslim men) never get circumcised.

    • Annoyed

      no of course it isn’t misandry. that’s stupid. a boy’s right to his foreskin is not up for debate.

    • Mel

      Awkward confession: I had to ask my husband if he was circumcised or not because I had no idea…..

      The topic never crossed my mind when we were together and naked, so I figured I should just ask.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Awkward confession: I did too. XD

        I don’t remember how it came up or if we were even naked at the time. It’s not like I had a collection of dick pics laying around for comparison. Lol

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        I actually keep meaning to ask him just because of this thread. Like you, I have no idea, and it’s not exactly a common topic of conversation around here. :p

    • itry2brational

      If cutting off parts of a human male’s body without medical indication against their expressed will and consent doesn’t count as misandry to you, I don’t think you’re a good judge of what does. What are you reduced to/what’s your identity when people can strap you to a table and remove part of your genitals without medical indication, simply because they want to?

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        That was my husband’s response. Husband. As in male. In possession of a penis. One he’s quite happy with. Your debate skills also need work.

        • itry2brational

          So. You agree with it enough to post it on a forum yet its one you’re unable to defend. That’s pretty telling. You also seem to think snarky memes substitute for debate skills…exposing your own lack of ability.
          I don’t really care if I change your mind or not but plenty of people reading yet don’t comment can judge for themselves whether or not you and your husband’s little argument holds water. It doesn’t. It shows your husband and you don’t think male human bodies deserve the same integrity and rights that you enjoy.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Naw I’m just recognizing you for what you are, which is a troll. Not the fun “for the lulz” troll either. And I’m not interested in feeding you. Seriously, you’re worse than racoons. Feed you once and then you never leave and get destructive.

            Dr. Tuteur could say the sky is blue and you’d rush in here screeching about how it’s not, it’s red where you are and therefore she is undermining scientific integrity.

            So I have no food for you.

            I do however have prime real estate under the Astoria-Megler bridge. Roomy and next to a Finnish bath house! Crawl in today!

          • itry2brational

            Your faculties of recognizing things are as sharp as a bowling ball. Like I said, you were/are in no place to judge others or what is and is not “destructive”. A couple simple rhetorical questions exposed the ignorance of what you were trying to expound upon.
            “Why would I want to invest all of my identity into a few inches of skin?”
            Why *wouldn’t* you be invested in ALL of your own body and self? What other parts of your body are you willing to let someone take from you because that part of you is meaningless? How much of you is meaningless, where does it end? I’m sorry but this is a textbook lack of self-worth and misandry. There’s intactivism, where ALL of you has meaning and then there’s DelphiniumFalcon and her hubby’s way, where parts of you are meaningless. Not difficult to figure out which one is misandric.

            “I do however have prime real estate under…” blah troll blah.
            I have absolutely no doubt that you already own such property. lol

  • StThomas

    Technically off topic, but I feel that this may work as half-time entertainment

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9PiqCeLEmM

  • Brother K

    I doubt the pro-circumcision crowd knows the structure and and function of the foreskin… they trivialize it for a reason… it’s a highly specialized body part with unique functions… anyone who purports to be a “doctor” should really know this anatomy… can you spare two minutes out of your circumcision crusade to learn it… (I doubt it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxFV4Fy7i7g

    • yugaya

      Anyone who is a doctor sans quotation marks hopefully does not learn anatomy on Youtube.

      • Mattie

        also hopefully from better images, that still looks like a close-up of a french fry dipped in ketchup

        • yugaya

          LOL.

        • Bugsy

          Yummm…..french fries dipped in ketchup….

          (Says the pregnant lady)

        • Annoyed

          ketchup could signify the blood that comes from the penis when you butcher it.

          • Mattie

            so it’s ‘supposed’ to look like a french-fry dipped in ketchup? Otherwise all it signifies is bad graphics.

  • namaste863

    Ugh, more people sticking their big, fat noses into something that is absolutely NONE of their business. If you want to circumcise your kid, fine. It effects no one else. Don’t circumcise? Fine. It effects no one else as long as you’re smart about maintaining personal hygiene and practicing safe, condoned sex. Jesus Christ, when did parenting become an Olympic sport?

    • Rodrigo_Girao

      Do you say the same about female genital mutilation?

      • StThomas

        Bad strategy: if you’re trying to convince people against, circumcision, equating circumcision and FGM will convince everyone that you have Clue Deficit Disorder. As well as being a blatant violation of Wil Wheaton’s Rule

        • Rodrigo_Girao

          It’s a sad day when the truth is a bad strategy.

        • Annoyed

          news flash. circumcision is genital mutilation. don’t quote a failed star trek actor if you are taking part in a serious debate.

          • StThomas

            Wil Wheaton’s Rule of Internet Discourse is “don’t be a dick”. Not all circumcision is mutilation.

    • Arch Hold

      Sure. So is it ok for parents to perform operations on their daughter’s genitals?

      • momofone

        I didn’t realize parents were performing circumcisions; I thought that was done by physicians.

        • Sarah

          It’s done by a physician sometimes. Certainly not always.

          • momofone

            True, but I’m guessing it’s done by someone who’s been trained to do it; not just parents who random decide to start whacking.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        If I had an imperforate hymen? Yes.

    • Annoyed

      don’t butcher your kid. it’s not cool.

      • namaste863

        Dude, they’re both girls.

  • Brother K

    More American parents are following the advice of the European medical community, which has condemned American doctors for circumcising baby boys. The Royal Dutch Medical Association reports: “International physicians protest against American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy on infant male circumcision. Circumcision conflicts with children’s rights and doctors’ oath and can have serious long-term consequences, state an international group of 38 physicians from 16 European countries in Pediatrics today.” http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Nieuws/Overzicht-nieuws/Nieuwsbericht/129608/International-physicians-protest-against-American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-policy-on-infant-male-circumcision.htm

    • Montserrat Blanco

      Did you read that the child needed the procedure according to two doctors?

      • Rodrigo_Girao

        It’s called “doctor shopping”. You ask many doctors until you find one that will give you the diagnosis you want to hear.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          Apparently he was seen by two doctors and both thought the same.

          • Mattie

            actually they diagnosed different conditions but both suggested circumcision as the solution, which goes against the idea of doctor shopping, why get a second opinion if the first doctor says what you want?

      • Bugsy

        Rodrigo below mentions an interesting point w/ respect to doctor shopping. Interestingly enough, the only person I knew who doctor-shopped was an anti-vaxxer who needed a paediatrician willing to validate her concern that her child’s reaction to infant vaccines (lethargy) was a strong reason to delay/stop future vaccinations. She eventually found one who backed her up.

        I don’t know enough about this case to know if it is applicable here, however.

      • Maya Markova

        No. The second doctor, who was the expert (urologist), gave just general recommendations – “benefits outweigh risks”.

  • Gatita

    Is it possible to hate intactivists and also want to give a giant bitchsmack to the father in this story? Because his behavior is just as appalling as the mother’s. They both sound deeply fucked up.

    • The power struggle between his parents will have more long-reaching effects on the child than anything to do with his foreskin.

    • Cobalt

      I get the impression they’re both assholes. But it’s the mother that handed her child’s genitals to the internet, so I’m calling her the bigger one.

    • rh1985

      I feel so sorry for this poor kid for not having one decent parent.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    The anti-circ advocates who parachuted in are also making a spectacle of themselves while obsessing over the penis of someone else’s son.

    All their “arguments” boil down to “because I said so.”

    It’s mutilation!!! How? Because I said so.

    It’s unnecessary!!! Why? Because I said so.

    It’s just like clitoridectomy!!! In what way? Because I said so.

    It’s my business!!! How do you figure that? Because I said so.

    Surely anti-circ advocates can do better than that, right?

    • Rodrigo_Girao

      It’s mutilation! How? Because it fits the dictionary’s definition of the word in every way!

      It’s unnecessary! Why? Because Europe doesn’t do it and they don’t seem to be worse off in absolytely any way!

      It’s just like clitoridectomy! In what way? In the removal of important erogenous tissue!

      It’s my business! How do you figure that? Because I have some human dignity, and you clearly don’t, since you seem to approve of male genital mutilation, you depraved person!

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        QED!

      • StThomas

        Europe does do it where indicated. While there is no unimportant erogenous tissue, Noone ever failed to climax because of the lack of a foreskin; It is barely possible if ever to climax without a clitoris. Denying the possibility of a medically necessary circumcision is prioritising a tissue over the whole patient.

        • Rodrigo_Girao

          You are wrong in three counts:

          1 – Circumcision often leads to sexual difficulties; for a start, the likelihood of suffering from erectile dysfunction is 4.5x greater. And there are cases of men who lose sensation on the penis completely because of circumcision.

          2 – The most common form of female genital cutting involves the removal or nicking of the clitoral hood; clitoridectomy is in fact rare. Thus the immense majority of mutilated women is still fully capable of a complete sex life, orgasms and all.

          3 – Most doctors are ignorant about non-destructive treatments to problems like phimosis, and in most cases, circumcision is not the best treatment.

          • StThomas

            1 I have in 22 years of practising medicine never seen a sexual difficulty caused by circumcision, nor when I keep up to date about sexual difficulies do I see circumcison as a rare cause that one doctor will not see often.
            2 Evidence please
            3 I am a doctor who uses non destructive treatment for phimosis, as is the standrd of care where I work. Every GP works the same way, as do the surgeons who do the operations (and who will go some way to save a foreskin)

          • Annoyed

            do you profit from chopping off foreskin? my bet is most of the medical experts claiming circumcision is good are making money from doing it and i also bet most of the people like myself who say circumcision is wrong have no personal financial motives.

          • StThomas

            No. In the NHS we get paid the same n matter how much we do. And I have never said all circumcision is good

          • StThomas

            Oh and most people know that tactic. Evidence of profit affecting outcome please

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Shill_gambit

          • fiftyfifty1

            &#