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Karlis

Circumcision should be a crime

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Karlis
The "Male Genital Mutilation Bill" is now for debate at the State Legislature. The bill would make it illegal for parents to circumcise boys in the state of Massachusetts unless there is a medical reason -- religious reasons would not count. ...Under the legislation, people who disregard the ban would face a fine and possible 14-year prison sentence.

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Neognosis

I am very much against circumcision, and we didn't circumcise our son.

However, I don't think this should be legislated. Today, in the US, nearly 1/2 of all boys born today won't be circumcised, although that varies on region. At the hospital we had our son in, 1/2 the boys were not cut when they left there.

I think that this is a change that education and a shift in culture should remedy, not legislation.

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keithisco

I agree that circumcision should be an informed choice for an adult to make, except in genuine medical cases where the child is not able to make an informed decision.

It is, without doubt, mutilation if it is unnecessary. IMO

Edited by keithisco

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ohio traveler

Parents decision. Not the governments.

I am however glad that my winky is not wearing a turtle-neck.

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Still Waters

No disrespect intended to anyones religion here, but how in the world a parent can do this to their son(s) is beyond me :no:

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Fluffybunny

So we are going into an economic period unlike anything we have seen in decades, and these numskulls want to take up time to try and legislate a personal, parental choice? What a waste, and just another example of how our government is broken and unable to create an environment where they can get done what needs to be done.

When the country is screaming into bankruptcy, everything should be on hold that does not have to do with saving the economy unless there is an emergency to warrant attention.

I am so glad my tax dollars get wasted by the billions so that these idiots can make themselves feel needed.

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Paraweird

This is absolutely NOT a 'parental choice'. With no legitmate medical reason - it's mutilation, pure and simple.

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danielost

i can tell you this one is unconstitutional. the moment they mentioned religion in it. this bill is anti-jew.

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HerNibs

When my boys were born I discussed this with the Dr. He said that there was no medical reason to do it. So we didn't.

I don't see it as being any different than female genital mutilation.

Why would anyone possibly want to hurt their baby?

Side note - isn't doing the same procedure to a female child illegal?

Nibs

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Karlis

Here is some information about circumcision from a medical-based website -- both pro and con. Any comments and opinions on any points mentioned in this article could be of interest here.

Fact sheet: the pros and cons of male circumcision

"Male circumcision is a simple procedure but a complex and emotive health issue that continues to generate great debate in the community and the medical profession. Foremost is the baby's welfare. The current prevailing public policy in Australia suggests that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision. However, recent evidence does demonstrate a higher risk of some health problems in uncircumcised males. Ultimately, it is the parents' decision, which should be respected and based on balanced, well-informed, comprehensive information. If you do decide to have your son circumcised, ensure it's done by an appropriate and experienced practitioner." Dr Christine Bennett, MBF's Chief Medical Officer.

What is circumcision?

Circumcision in the male refers to the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) of the penis. The foreskin is a redundant fold of skin, which overlaps the end of the glans penis.

At birth, it is normal for the inner surface of the foreskin to be fused to the glans and separation occurs during childhood. By five years of age most boys should be able to retract the foreskin. However a small percentage of boys are unable to do this until after puberty.

By puberty, uncircumcised boys should be able to retract the foreskin and clean underneath it to avoid infection.

Why is it important?

Circumcision has been around for religious and cultural reasons for thousands of years. Originally it was most likely done as a hygienic measure in hot, dry and often sandy environments and is still an important ritual in some religious groups.

Circumcision has been reported as being associated with a number of medical benefits, including lower rates of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, penile inflammation, penile dermatoses and sexually transmitted diseases.

Cultural issues aside, parents of newborn males often face many questions in the decision-making process on circumcision with major factors concerning how the child might respond, opinions of family and friends, conformity with dad, and medical issues.

It is important that parents are presented with unbiased, accurate information so that they can make an informed decision as well as consider that the magnitude of some benefits depends on the age that circumcision is performed. Talking to people they trust can be another important step for parents in the decision-making process.

General statistics

The rates of circumcision vary around the world and are subject to trends as medical and ethical issues are debated.

* In recent years the rate of circumcision in Australia has fallen and it is now estimated that 10 - 20% of male infants are circumcised 1

* Circumcision has a complication rate of 1 - 5% that includes local infection, bleeding and damage to the penis. Serious complications such as bleeding and septicaemia may very rarely even result in death 1

* Urinary tract infections affect 1 - 2% of boys but may be 5 times less frequent in circumcised boys 1

* Penile cancer is rare - it affects 1 in 100,000 men in developed countries 1

What are the benefits?

* Reduction in urinary tract infections: the prevalence of urinary tract infections is higher in infancy than in older males. The risk of urinary tract infection is higher in males with underlying renal tract abnormalities and it is likely that "a small group of boys" will benefit from circumcision. 1

* Reduction of cancer: compared to uncircumcised men, circumcised men appear to have a lower risk of penile cancer and their female sexual partners may have a lower risk of cervical cancer. 2

* Penile cancer : this is rare (1 in 100,000) but the risk is three - to six fold in uncircumcised men;

* Cervical cancer: uncircumcised men may be more likely to acquire and transmit the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is responsible for most cervical cancers.

* Reduction in penile inflammation and retractile disorders: penile inflammatory disorders are less common in circumcised men but can develop whether or not circumcision has been performed. Uncircumcised males who retract the foreskin while bathing are less likely to experience problems with inflammation. Acute and recurrent problems of the foreskin can sometimes be managed medically but surgical intervention may be required. 1

* Reduction in sexually transmitted diseases (eg syphilis, gonorrhoea, herpes, HPV, HIV): the literature shows that generally, circumcision protects against contracting and passing on these diseases if unprotected sexual intercourse is practiced. Hopefully this is a lesser problem today than in the past. The prepuce can act as a reservoir for viral organisms. The uncircumcised penis is protected by the foreskin and does not become keratinised and so is more susceptible to irritation. The significant reduction in risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections is an important medical benefit of circumcision and recent research has prompted the World Health Organisation to develop specific policy recommendations to expand and promote male circumcision as a method of HIV prevention as part of an HIV prevention package. Circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV and should not replace safe sex practices. 2, 3

* Improved hygiene: genital hygiene is easier in the absence of a foreskin.

What are the risks?

The rate of procedure-related complications is about 1 - 5% with most of these problems readily treatable with no long-term effects. 1

* Pain and distress: surgical excision of the foreskin is painful. Safe and effective pain control exists and should be offered to all infants undergoing the procedure.

* Bleeding and local infection: these are the most common complications which can sometimes be significant. The risk of severe bleeding is higher if there is an underlying problem such as haemophilia. Wound infection occurs infrequently and is usually mild enough to be treated with local treatment. 1

* Cosmetic reasons: too much or too little skin removal may present problems 2

* Ulceration: irritation from wet nappies may cause ulceration in the first few weeks after circumcision. Ulceration may lead to stenosis or 'narrowing' of the 'eye of the penis'. 2

* Buried penis: refers to a penis that is buried under scar tissue that develops at the site of incision. It may occur if too much or too little skin is removed. Treatment is surgical. 2

* Sexual dissatisfaction: Some literature indicates that the end of the penis becomes less sensitive when the foreskin is removed. However, most circumcised males do not describe psychological trauma or decreased sexual function as a result of being circumcised. 2

What's happening in Australia?

In Australia circumcision is currently restricted in public hospitals in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania, with South Australia said to follow. 4

Public hospitals will continue to provide circumcision where there is an identified need for surgery to improve the patient's physical health. The medical reasons for circumcision may include the following:

* Phimosis: a condition that prevents the retraction of the foreskin, which is either congenital or the result of infection.

* Recurrent Balanoposthitis: generalised inflammation of the penis occurring as a complication of bacterial or fungal infection.

* Paraphimosis: a condition characterised by an inability to replace the foreskin in its normal position after it has been retracted, which is caused by a narrow or inflamed foreskin.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians recommends parents who want to circumcise their infant sons should consider waiting until they are old enough to make their own decisions.

How to care for an uncircumcised foreskin

(source: Royal Australasian College of Physicians)

It is normal for the inner surface of the foreskin to be fused to the glans in newborn males. Separation of the foreskin from the glans occurs spontaneously during childhood. By five years of age most of boys are able to retract their foreskin. A small percentage of boys are unable to fully retract their foreskin until puberty.

The foreskin requires no special care during infancy. It should be left alone. Attempts to forcibly retract it are painful, often injure the foreskin, and can lead to scarring and phimosis (difficulty in retracting the foreskin).

Later in childhood, the foreskin can be gently retracted to the point where resistance is met and the distal portion of the penis and the urethral meatus become visible. The glans and the inner-surface of the foreskin can be cleaned along with the rest of the body once separation has occurred and the foreskin is fully retractable.

By around the time of puberty, all uncircumcised boys should be able to retract their foreskin and clean underneath it in the bath or shower. It is important that they always return the foreskin to its original position after they have finished. If the foreskin is left retracted behind the glans, it may swell up and become painful (paraphimosis).

As the foreskin separates from the glans, dead skin cells will collect between the two layers. These dead cells appear as white crumbly or cheesy material and have been termed smegma. Smegma may produce a noticeable (and often asymmetrical) swelling beneath the foreskin. This material rarely causes problems and usually discharges spontaneously. Accumulation of smegma assists the normal process of separation of the inner surface of the foreskin to the glans of the penis in the young boy. Infection of smegma as it is released may cause inflammation.

Although there is evidence that boys who are uncircumcised have a higher incidence of urinary tract infections, there is no evidence that the increased incidence of infection is due to poor hygiene.

Where can I get more information?

Talk to your GP if you need more information. These other websites may also be useful:

www.racp.edu.au

www.who.int

www.circinfo.net

Sources:

* Royal Australasian College of Physicians (www.racp.edu.au)

* UpToDate (www.uptodate.com)

* World Health Organisation (www.who.int)

* The Australian 2007

LINK to source

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Lilly

I don't see it as being any different than female genital mutilation.

Actually, so-called "female circumcision" involves the complete removal of the clitoris and external genitalia, it is indeed mutilation designed to render the woman incapable of enjoying relations. In males only the foreskin that covers the glans is removed. Circumcision in males is not even close to what is done to females.

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HerNibs

Actually, so-called "female circumcision" involves the complete removal of the clitoris and external genitalia, it is indeed mutilation designed to render the woman incapable of enjoying relations. In males only the foreskin that covers the glans is removed. Circumcision in males is not even close to what is done to females.

*sigh* Yeah, intellectually that makes sense. :)

Emotionally, I don't want to be responsible for cutting off any part of my kids.

Nibs

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ohio traveler

i can tell you this one is unconstitutional. the moment they mentioned religion in it. this bill is anti-jew.

It is also being done to promote homosexuality and push the gay agenda because most gay men prefer uncut.

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Corp

Meh. I got the cut when I was born and I'm doing just fine. Never considered myself to be mutilated and don't blame my parents for making the choice.

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Javril

Let me rephrase a Pierre Elliott Trudeau quote. “The state has no business in the pants of the nation.”

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HerNibs

It is also being done to promote homosexuality and push the gay agenda because most gay men prefer uncut.

Really? Says who? Please list your source.

This is just ridiculous.

Nibs

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The Silver Thong

I'm a bit bias on this as I had it done and don't remember a thing about it. I don't think it left me traumatized at least no more then being squeezed out a tiny hole and having my head squished with metal clamps at birth or having my heel stabbed gettting a blood test. I don't see the big deal to be honest and in noway can this be equated to female circumcision now thats nasty.

Edited by The Silver Thong

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The Silver Thong

Really? Says who? Please list your source.

This is just ridiculous.

Nibs

I have no idea if thats true or not but it made me laugh. How does he know LOL

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HerNibs

I have no idea if thats true or not but it made me laugh. How does he know LOL

Yeah, that's what I was wondering. :P

Now, I should state that I have no issue with informed, well meaning parents who DO have circumcision done.

Just not something I could or did do.

I cried and cried with the PKU test.

(Yes, I know I'm nuts. Shuddup. :P)

Nibs

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Hugh

What are the risks?

* Sexual dissatisfaction: Some literature indicates that the end of the penis becomes less sensitive when the foreskin is removed. However, most circumcised males do not describe psychological trauma or decreased sexual function as a result of being circumcised.

This is an important point that is often overlooked, and I had this discussion at work a few years ago...

A co-worker descibed his feelings about the sensitivity issue and compared it to an analogy with the sensitivity of a hand...

The back of a hand is much more sensitive to touch than the palm because it is less exposed to regular wear.

This is what the foreskin was designed by nature (and or God) to do, is to keep the very sensitive head of the penis enclosed, protected and moist.

When the head is exposed during sex, it is capable of sending very pleasurable sensations.

One just has to feel the difference between stroking the back of one's hand and the palm to feel the difference in sensation.

When the foreskin is cut away, the head becomes permanently exposed and is constantly rubbing against one's underwear clothing, so it becomes less sensitive, not only that, but in the removal, many nerves of the penis are cut...

All the nerves in the foreskin are removed with the foreskin, and where these nerves join up in the penis is all cut up and permanently destroyed.

God/nature designed the penis to be sensitive and pleasurable, and with circumcision, this is permanently altered and partially destroyed.

In the quote it says that "most circumcised males do not describe psychological trauma or decreased sexual function as a result of being circumcised" and my question is "how would they know the loss that they have suffered?"

How would a circumcised male know how much pleasure he has been denied?

I am uncircumcised, and know what it is like to have a sensitive and pleasurable head.

I know how I'd feel if time were reversed, I was circumcised as a baby, and am back to now, I'd feel like I was mutilated as a baby against my free choice, and know that I would have much less sensitivity there... I would be furious and very angry and sad.

When I said this to one of my co-workers in the discussion, he said "but God is the one who said we have to do this" and I said why would God give a baby a foreskin and then tell you that it should be cut off? God put the foreskin on there, it is man who decides to cut it off.

God and/or evolution put the foreskin there for us to be able to enjoy the feelings down there more.

The way I see it, if a male wants to become circumcised, he should be able to choose it for himself once he becomes an adult, it shouldn't be forced upon him as a baby, when he can't defend himself from some idiot with a knife.

From what I have heard about female circumcision it sometimes involves the partial or full removal of the clitoris - I can't believe that anyone would be so cruel as to remove this pleasureable part of a woman from her body.

It makes me sick that this mutilation goes on in the world, but I know that with education and discussion, that one day this barbaric practice will be eventually outlawed... both for females and males.

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SRCivic98

So we are going into an economic period unlike anything we have seen in decades, and these numskulls want to take up time to try and legislate a personal, parental choice? What a waste, and just another example of how our government is broken and unable to create an environment where they can get done what needs to be done.

When the country is screaming into bankruptcy, everything should be on hold that does not have to do with saving the economy unless there is an emergency to warrant attention.

I am so glad my tax dollars get wasted by the billions so that these idiots can make themselves feel needed.

I say that it's not really that bad, I mean it does make it a little bit easier to wash when in the shower or bath. Not to mention, ever think that not getting circumcisided could mean that you'd have to remove lint and all sorts of other stuff? but as far as the whole argument in general I say too that it sickens me to see tax payer dollars being wasted on something that should be strictly up to the parents or that person when they get older which may or may not have any effects if done later in life instead of when your body can heal from it and adjust a lot easier....but come on, if this is what our tax payer dollars are being wasted on then I'm up for not having a government any longer if this is what they're going to argue over. it's idiotic!

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The Silver Thong

Yeah, that's what I was wondering. :P

Now, I should state that I have no issue with informed, well meaning parents who DO have circumcision done.

Just not something I could or did do.

I cried and cried with the PKU test.

(Yes, I know I'm nuts. Shuddup. :P)

Nibs

Your just a little nuts LOL trust me I know these things ;)

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SRCivic98

also even though I know not too many people like Wikipedia, I still found this link for people to read on. Make it a personal or parental decision...not a government issue. because then you really are giving the government power over EVERYTHING YOU DO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision

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Ufo Believer

I was circumsized...It's not bad or anything. What will this stupid legislation do...throw parents who had this done to their kids in jail. They're not taking my parents.

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aquatus1

This is what the foreskin was designed by nature (and or God) to do, is to keep the very sensitive head of the penis enclosed, protected and moist.

To be perfectly frank, sensitivity is not an issue with most males. If you were to ask the women to weigh in, chances are you would hear about the sensitivity of that particular area being more of a problem than anything else.

I like being cut. It's a more classical shape, far more aesthetically pleasing than the dune worm look I've seen on others. I don't consider it any more mutilating than any other beauty treatment through the ages, such as girdles, piercings, or tattooing your eyebrows, although considerably less painful. Honestly, when I am using the tool for its primary use (or, at least, its most rewarding, IMHO), I am quite happy that it isn't more sensitive; I still struggle to perform at length as it is.

To me,hearing people talk about being shocked or sick that this is going on is much like hearing people saying that seeing women walking in 4-inch heels or a push-up bra shocks them or makes them sick. Honestly, it brings more of a derisive smirk to my face than anything.

My complaint with this being brought up in the political court is that it is so utterly pointless, so inconsequential that wasting time on it should be met with a tennis ball to the head.

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