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Thread: Call for higher circumcision rate

  1. #201
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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    No offense to any uncut males here but the thought of going down on an uncut penis totally freaks me out.

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Has anyone considered why the foreskin exists?
    Many people. Every mammal has one, after all.


    The foreskin is a uniquely specialized, sensitive, functional organ of touch. No other part of the body serves the same purpose. As a modified extension of the penile shaft skin, the foreskin covers and usually extends beyond the glans before folding under itself and finding its circumferential point of attachment just behind the corona (the rim of the glans). The foreskin is, therefore, a double-layered organ. Its true length is twice the length of its external fold and comprises as much as 80 percent or more of the penile skin covering.6,7

    The foreskin contains a rich concentration of blood vessels and nerve endings. It is lined with the peripenic muscle sheet, a smooth muscle layer with longitudinal fibers. These muscle fibers are whirled, forming a kind of sphincter that ensures optimum protection of the urinary tract from contaminants of all kinds.

    Like the undersurface of the eyelids or the inside of the cheek, the undersurface of the foreskin consists of mucous membrane. It is divided into two distinct zones: the soft mucosa and the ridged mucosa. The soft mucosa lies against the glans penis and contains ectopic sebaceous glands that secrete emollients, lubricants, and protective antibodies. Similar glands are found in the eyelids and mouth.

    Adjacent to the soft mucosa and just behind the lips of the foreskin is the ridged mucosa. This exquisitely sensitive structure consists of tightly pleated concentric bands, like the elastic bands at the top of a sock. These expandable pleats allow the foreskin lips to open and roll back, exposing the glans. The ridged mucosa gives the foreskin its characteristic taper.

    On the underside of the glans, the foreskin's point of attachment is advanced toward the meatus (urethral opening) and forms a bandlike ligament called the frenulum. It is identical to the frenulum that secures the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The foreskin's frenulum holds it in place over the glans, and, in conjunction with the smooth muscle fibers, helps return the retracted foreskin to its usual forward position over the glans.
    The foreskin has numerous protective, sensory, and sexual functions.

    * Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands-glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health of the surface of the glans.

    * Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body's first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme. Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother's milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin's outer surface. Plasma cells in the foreskin's mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection.

    * Erogenous Sensitivity: The foreskin is as sensitive as the fingertips or the lips of the mouth. It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis. These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture.

    * Coverage During Erection: As it becomes erect, the penile shaft becomes thicker and longer. The double-layered foreskin provides the skin necessary to accommodate the expanded organ and to allow the penile skin to glide freely, smoothly, and pleasurably over the shaft and glans.

    * Self-Stimulating Sexual Functions: The foreskin's double-layered sheath enables the penile shaft skin to glide back and forth over the penile shaft. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the penis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated.

    * Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing.

  3. #203
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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    How Does Circumcision Harm?

    The "medical" debate about the "potential health benefits" of circumcision rarely addresses its real effects.

    * Circumcision denudes: Depending on the amount of skin cut off, circumcision robs a male of as much as 80 percent or more of his penile skin. Depending on the foreskin's length, cutting it off makes the penis as much as 25 percent or more shorter. Careful anatomical investigations have shown that circumcision cuts off more than 3 feet of veins, arteries, and capillaries, 240 feet of nerves, and more than 20,000 nerve endings. The foreskin's muscles, glands, mucous membrane, and epithelial tissue are destroyed, as well.

    * Circumcision desensitizes: Circumcision desensitizes the penis radically. Foreskin amputation means severing the rich nerve network and all the nerve receptors in the foreskin itself. Circumcision almost always damages or destroys the frenulum. The loss of the protective foreskin desensitizes the glans. Because the membrane covering the permanently externalized glans is now subjected to constant abrasion and irritation, it keratinizes, becoming dry and tough. The nerve endings in the glans, which in the intact penis are just beneath the surface of the mucous membrane, are now buried by successive layers of keratinization. The denuded glans takes on a dull, grayish, sclerotic appearance.

    * Circumcision disables: The amputation of so much penile skin permanently immobilizes whatever skin remains, preventing it from gliding freely over the shaft and glans. This loss of mobility destroys the mechanism by which the glans is normally stimulated. When the circumcised penis becomes erect, the immobilized remaining skin is stretched, sometimes so tightly that not enough skin is left to cover the erect shaft. Hair-bearing skin from the groin and scrotum is often pulled onto the shaft, where hair is not normally found. The surgically externalized mucous membrane of the glans has no sebaceous glands. Without the protection and emollients of the foreskin, it dries out, making it susceptible to cracking and bleeding.

    * Circumcision disfigures: Circumcision alters the appearance of the penis drastically. It permanently externalizes the glans, normally an internal organ. Circumcision leaves a large circumferential surgical scar on the penile shaft. Because circumcision usually necessitates tearing the foreskin from the glans, pieces of the glans may be torn off, too, leaving it pitted and scarred. Shreds of foreskin may adhere to the raw glans, forming tags and bridges of dangling, displaced skin.

    Depending on the amount of skin cut off and how the scar forms, the circumcised penis may be permanently twisted, or curve or bow during erection. The contraction of the scar tissue may pull the shaft into the abdomen, in effect shortening the penis or burying it completely.

    * Circumcision disrupts circulation: Circumcision interrupts the normal circulation of blood throughout the penile skin system and glans. The blood flowing into major penile arteries is obstructed by the line of scar tissue at the point of incision, creating backflow instead of feeding the branches and capillary networks beyond the scar. Deprived of blood, the meatus may contract and scarify, obstructing the flow of urine. This condition, known as meatal stenosis, often requires corrective surgery. Meatal stenosis is found almost exclusively among boys who have been circumcised.

    Circumcision also severs the lymph vessels, interrupting the circulation of lymph and sometimes causing lymphedema, a painful, disfiguring condition in which the remaining skin of the penis swells with trapped lymph fluid.

    * Circumcision is unhygienic and unhealthy: One of the most common myths about circumcision is that it makes the penis cleaner and easier to take care of. This is not true. Eyes without eyelids would not be cleaner; neither would a penis without its foreskin. The artificially externalized glans and meatus of the circumcised penis are constantly exposed to abrasion and dirt, making the circumcised penis, in fact, more unclean. The loss of the protective foreskin leaves the urinary tract vulnerable to invasion by bacterial and viral pathogens.

    The circumcision wound is larger than most people imagine. It is not just the circular point of union between the outer and inner layers of the remaining skin. Before a baby is circumcised, his foreskin must be torn from his glans, literally skinning it alive. This creates a large open area of raw, bleeding flesh, covered at best with a layer of undeveloped proto-mucosa. Germs can easily enter the damaged tissue and bloodstream through the raw glans and, even more easily, through the incision itself.

    Even after the wound has healed, the externalized glans and meatus are still forced into constant unnatural contact with urine, feces, chemically treated diapers, and other contaminants.

    Female partners of circumcised men do not report a lower rate of cervical cancer, nor does circumcision prevent penile cancer. A recent study shows that the penile cancer rate is higher in the US than in Denmark, where circumcision, except among Middle-Eastern immigrant workers, is almost unheard of. Indeed, researchers should investigate the possibility that circumcision has actually increased the rate of these diseases.

    Circumcision does not prevent acquisition or transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In fact, the US has both the highest percentage of sexually active circumcised males in the Western world and the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Rigorously controlled prospective studies show that circumcised American men are at a greater risk for bacterial and viral STDs, especially gonorrhea, nongonoccal urethritis, human papilloma virus, herpes simplex virus type 2, and chlamydia.

    * Circumcision is always risky: Circumcision always carries the risk of serious, even tragic, consequences. Its surgical complication rate is one in 500. These complications include uncontrollable bleeding and fatal infections. There are many published case reports of gangrene following circumcision. Pathogenic bacteria such as staphylococcus, Proteus, Pseudomonas, other coliforms, and even tuberculosis can cause infections leading to death. These organisms enter the wound because it provides easy entry, not because the child is predisposed to infection.

    Medical journals have published numerous accounts of babies who have had part or all of their glans cut off while they were being circumcised. Other fully conscious, unanesthetized babies have had their entire penis burned off with an electrocautery gun. The September 1989 Journal of Urology published an account of four such cases. The article described the sex-change operation as "feminizing genitoplasty," performed on these babies in an attempt to change them into girls. The March 1997 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine described one young person's horror on learning that "she" had been born a normal male, but that a circumciser had burned his penis off when he was a baby. Many other similar cases have been documented. Infant circumcision has a reported death rate of one in 500,000.


    * Circumcision violates patients' and human rights: No one has the right to cut off any part of someone else's genitals without that person's competent, fully informed consent. Since it is the infant who must bear the consequences, circumcision violates his legal rights both to refuse treatment and to seek alternative treatment. In 1995, the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics stated that only a competent patient can give patient consent or informed consent. An infant is obviously too young to consent to anything. He must be protected from anyone who would take advantage of his defenselessness. The concept of informed parental permission allows for medical interventions in situations of clear and immediate medical necessity only, such as disease, trauma, or deformity. The human penis in its normal, uncircumcised state satisfies none of these requirements.

  4. #204
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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Why was circumcision started in the US? Fear and ignorance, nothing more.

    Routine circumcision as a preventative or cure for masturbation was proposed in Victorian times in America. Masturbation was thought to be the cause of a number of diseases. The procedure of routine circumcision became commonplace between 1870 and 1920, and it consequently spread to all the English-speaking countries (England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). None of these countries now circumcise the majority of their male children, a distinction reserved today for the United States (in the UK, in fact, nonreligious circumcision has virtually ceased). Yet, there are still those who promote this social surgery, long after the masturbation hysteria of the past century has subsided.

    "By about 1880 the individual... might wish[to]... tie, chain, or infibulate sexually active children... to adorn them with grotesque appliances, encase them in plaster, leather, or rubber, to frighten or even castrate them... masturbation insanity was now real enough--it was affecting the medical profession."

    (B. Berkeley, quoted from _Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma_, by Rosemary Romberg, Bergin & Garvey Publisher, Inc, S. Hadley MA, USA, 1985, ISBN 089789-073-6)

    Dr. E.J. Spratling, who promoted this surgery by telling his colleagues that "...circumcision is undoubtedly the physician's closest friend and ally..." prescribed in 1895 the method of circumcision as it is practiced in hospitals today.

    "To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm... We may not be sure that we have done away with the possibility of masturbation, but we may feel confident that we have limited it to within the danger lines."

    (E.J. Spratling, MD. Medical Record, Masturbation in the Adult, vol. 48, no. 13, September 28, 1895, pp. 442-443.)
    Nice to see we've somehow managed to hold onto such ignorant delusions. Only for different reasons now.

  5. #205
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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Myths and Facts:

    MYTH: A circumcised penis is cleaner.

    FACT: Personal hygiene is a major justification for circumcision, yet the experience of 85% of the world's men who are intact indicates that the intact penis is easily cared for. Cleansing the intact penis is similar to cleansing intact labia and is simply a matter of common sense. During infancy, when the foreskin and glans are attached to one another, external washing with only warm water is all that is required. Once the foreskin and glans separate, retraction of the foreskin and washing with warm water are all that are necessary.

    After the age of reason, one hopes that a boy who has already learned to tie his shoes can be cajoled into washing behind his ears and directed to clean his penis. It is painless, takes only a few seconds, and when it takes any longer is probably associated with a smile.--Leonard J. Marino, MD

    The AAP itself refuted this myth by saying, "...good personal hygiene would offer all the advantages of routine circumcision without the attendant surgical risk" .
    MYTH: Circumcision will decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

    FACT: There is an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, in the United States, where the majority of sexually active men are circumcised. It is not the foreskin that causes these diseases, and circumcision will not prevent them. "It is relatively more important to alter exposure to infectious agents than male susceptibility to them," wrote D. W. Cameron, MD, FRCP (personal correspondence to NOCIRC, January 7, 1991). Cameron's AIDS research was erroneously and alarmingly reported by newspapers across the country with headlines that read, "Circumcision decreases risk of AIDS." Obviously, it is contact with specific organisms that causes specific diseases, and it is education about safe sex, not amputation of healthy body parts of newborns, that is sane preventative medicine for sexually transmitted diseases.
    MYTH: Circumcision prevents urinary tract infection.

    FACT: The AAP reported that studies reflecting an increase in UTIs among intact boys are "retrospective," may have "methodologic flaws," and "may have been influenced by selection bias" . The more recent research of statistician and pediatrician, Dr. Martin Altschul, refutes the earlier UTI studies. New York pediatrician, Dr. Leonard J. Marino, agrees with Altschul:

    Since one fourth of my male infant patients are not circumcised, and if the frequency of UTI in the uncircumcised is as high as it is said to be, I should be seeing many UTIs in male infants. If I'm missing the diagnosis, they somehow are getting better without treatment. My experience reinforces the practice of discouraging routine circumcision, a cause of more morbidity than benefit.
    MYTH: An intact penis looks funny.

    FACT: To whom does an intact penis look funny? Certainly not to the baby, nor to most of an intact world. While circumcised African women consider intact female genitalia unacceptable, American health care professionals would find this inappropriate, if not repugnant, justification for performing female circumcision. Considering the potential physical and psychological harm of neonatal circumcision, as well as the infant's right to his own body, we must take responsibility for educating ourselves and overcoming our cultural bias with regard to the appearance of the intact penis. A review of classical art at a local library will illustrate what is normal.

    MYTH: Circumcision prevents foreskin infections.

    FACT: Yes, it does, in both males and females, and removing all the teeth would prevent cavities. Where does this argument end? Infections are caused by invading organisms and can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Fear of infection is no reason to routinely amputate a tonsil, an appendix, or a foreskin.
    MYTH: It's better to circumcise babies because they won't remember the experience.

    FACT: Quite the contrary. Overwhelming evidence indicates that experiences during the preverbal period affect the human being throughout life.

    An infant does retain significant memory traces of traumatic events. When a child is subjected to intolerable, overwhelming pain, it conceptualizes mother as both participatory and responsible regardless of mother's intent. When in fact mother is truly complicit, as in giving permission for unanesthetized surgery, i.e., circumcision, the perception of the infant of her culpability and willingness to have him harmed is indelibly emplaced. The consequences for impaired bonding are significant.--Rima Laibow, MD .

    Clearly, circumcision of an infant does interfere with maternal- infant bonding, is perceived by the baby as betrayal by the mother, prohibits successful completion of the first developmental task of establishing trust, encodes the brain with the experience of violence inflicted on a part of the body that should be experiencing pleasure , and occurs during the preverbal period when memory is locked into the emotions. Leboyer expresses his concern about the life-long consequences of circumcision:

    Once we remember that all that takes place during the first days of life on the emotional level, shapes the pattern of all future reactions, we cannot but wonder why such a torture has been inflicted on the child. How could a being who has been aggressed in this way, while totally helpless, develop into a relaxed, loving, trusting person?--Frederick Leboyer, MD .

    Retrieval of this subconscious information requires commitment and dedication to a therapeutic process destined to uncover early traumatic experience. In personal reports, men who have done this work describe their circumcision as both terrifying and excruciatingly painful.
    MYTH: Better to do it now because it would hurt more later.

    FACT: This first erroneously assumes that a postnewborn circumcision will be necessary. Wallerstein reports:

    The question of an uncircumcised child requiring later circumcision is used as a scare tactic--only in the United States. The question is not foreskin problems, but the attitude of the American medical profession in pushing what most physicians throughout the world consider unnecessary surgery. Worldwide, foreskin problems are treated medically, rarely surgically.

    Even if a circumcision were required later in life, the male would be able to understand the health problem, give an informed consent, and have the benefits of anesthesia and pain medication.

    Researchers Anand and Hickey report that "...neonates were found to be more sensitive to pain than older infants"
    Circumcision: A Medical or a Human Rights Issue?

    Circumcision: The Uniquely American Medical Enigma

    NOHARMM Access Page

    National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers

    Mothers Against Circumcision

    The Use of Male Circumcision to Prevent HIV Infection

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    Why was circumcision started in the US? Fear and ignorance, nothing more.



    Nice to see we've somehow managed to hold onto such ignorant delusions. Only for different reasons now.
    I'm curious to know what others think, but my son was not circumsized until 10 days after he was born. I was stunned at how much larger his penis was AFTER the circumcision--lenthwise and girthwise. Is my situation unique?

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    From rivrrat's post above:

    MYTH: It's better to circumcise babies because they won't remember the experience.

    FACT: Quite the contrary. Overwhelming evidence indicates that experiences during the preverbal period affect the human being throughout life.

    An infant does retain significant memory traces of traumatic events. When a child is subjected to intolerable, overwhelming pain, it conceptualizes mother as both participatory and responsible regardless of mother's intent. When in fact mother is truly complicit, as in giving permission for unanesthetized surgery, i.e., circumcision, the perception of the infant of her culpability and willingness to have him harmed is indelibly emplaced. The consequences for impaired bonding are significant.--Rima Laibow, MD .

    Clearly, circumcision of an infant does interfere with maternal- infant bonding, is perceived by the baby as betrayal by the mother, prohibits successful completion of the first developmental task of establishing trust, encodes the brain with the experience of violence inflicted on a part of the body that should be experiencing pleasure , and occurs during the preverbal period when memory is locked into the emotions. Leboyer expresses his concern about the life-long consequences of circumcision:

    Once we remember that all that takes place during the first days of life on the emotional level, shapes the pattern of all future reactions, we cannot but wonder why such a torture has been inflicted on the child. How could a being who has been aggressed in this way, while totally helpless, develop into a relaxed, loving, trusting person?--Frederick Leboyer, MD .

    Retrieval of this subconscious information requires commitment and dedication to a therapeutic process destined to uncover early traumatic experience. In personal reports, men who have done this work describe their circumcision as both terrifying and excruciatingly painful.
    This is just a bunch of horsepoop. I don't buy it for a second.

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    From rivrrat's post above:



    This is just a bunch of horsepoop. I don't buy it for a second.
    Prove it otherwise.

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    Prove it otherwise.
    Why should I have to prove anything? I don't buy the horsepoop. I find it very hard to believe that a newborn can distinguish between pain experienced as a result of a religious choice and pain experienced as a result of a medical choice. For example--immunizations. I have mentioned previously that my son did not cry during his circumcision. He did, however, bawl when he received his immunizations during his first year of life. So tell me how these experts KNOW that the pain from the circumcision caused long-term psychological effects. Are they presuming that the child has experienced no other pain except circumcision? I'd like to know how they can make such presumptions.

    So because I circumsized my son, this means he didn't bond with me? Hmmm. I breastfed that cutie pie exclusively for the first 4 months of his life. I changed his diapers. I kept him safe and warm. I loved on him like it was going out of style. So some psychologist or psychiatrist is going to tell me that a snip that took less than one minute somehow outweighs all the love, support, food, etc. that I have provided my son for the first 2 years of his life (so far)? I don't buy it for a second. Sorry.

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    Re: Call for higher circumcision rate

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    If someone was trying to convince me to chop off part of my newborn's body for no reason at all, I wouldn't be as nice as she was about it.
    That doesn't surprise me. I have never had a problem with standing my ground and not using profanity. But that's me.

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