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#323378 - 02/26/10 04:42 PM Is circumcision abuse?
Dale English Offline
Newsletter Founder/Producer
Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 448
Loc: PA
Hi everyone,

This question has become quite a highly debated issue. The article I've posted here takes a specific stand. It was not chosen because of that stand. It is meant to promote discussion. I'll look for an article with the opposite view too.


#323435 - 02/27/10 04:04 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: Dale English]
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Taz this is a great topic and while I believe it may generate some heat I am going to share my thoughts on this topic.

First off I want to make something clear, which probably makes my answer slightly biased. I'm sharing this just as a point of reference for this topic, not to be titillating or excite people.

I am an uncircumcised male. I am the son of a circumcised male.

I found out that my father was circumcised for religious religions regarding the catholic faith of his parents.

What really gets me about this and the decision to have this performed is that it is being done not on the decision of the child and his personal body and choices, but by parents who may for whatever reason believe it is right to do.

I also believe people are entitled to believe and make their own choices.

Is it right, is it wrong? I think the debate will go on forever and never end.

I remember hearing a few years back, this topic coming up in the news saying that uncircumcised men were more likely to get AIDs and STDs.

I also remember my family physician growing up telling me how bad I had it because I was uncircumcised and would have to go to great lengths to keep it clean. He would ask me if I knew how to clean my genitals. Pull back the skin he would always remind me.

Well I'm a mature adult who takes daily showers and makes an effort to clean my entire body. Not trying to get too personal.

I do believe in a way this is a form of genital mutilation that is being done on innocent children without their permission or authority.

So many infant males are having this choice decided for them at a young age, with very little personal input.

I'm grateful my mom doesn't believe in genital mutilation.

I'm also entitled to my opinion, just like any one else who posts here. You are entitled to disagree and say I'm wrong, but this is what I believe.

I hope to have children some days and would like to have boys, I will stick to my guns and not allow it to be done to my boys.

Now have I answered your question Taz or gone on a personal rant, tangent about how I feel. Probably more of the later.

I think I could see it as a form of abuse in a way that has been so manipulated and blanketed that parents from social pressure may feel the need to buy in to it.

I will keep reiterating this point, I just don't believe it's fair to make that choice on a child without consent.

Great topic Taz thanks for letting me share my opinion. I hope others respond to this great post and allow for a healthy and respectful discussion.

Thanks for letting me share Taz.


Edited by Charlie24 (03/02/10 11:38 PM)

#323439 - 02/27/10 05:28 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: Charlie24]
Elad 12 Offline

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1176
Loc: on the coast
Here is a pro circumcision site.
Just giving it for the information. I'm not really pro or con circumcision myself. I understand and support it as a religious act or a part of some initiations or as a personal choice. In our culture I think a boy should be able to choose as he grows older.

I have an interesting circumcision history as it relates to my child sexual abuse. I was not circumcised as a baby.
I was sexually abused ages 4 to 8 by a new neighbor that was from Holland. He was not circumcised. After he moved away when I was 8 and as I grew older and began seeing other males I noticed that they were all circumcised, not that I knew what circumcision was, even my father was circumcised. I actually believed that my penis was the way it was because of the abuse and as I grew even older I realized that everyone that saw it must know what I'd done and what had been done to me. I was constantly pulling my foreskin back and sometimes even taping it hoping it would stay that way. Even as I entered high school I still didn't know about circumcision and in the showers I finally saw maybe 2 or 3 other boys out of the hundreds that I assumed had been abused too. Soon I did learn what circumcision was and realized that it was not abuse related but by that time I just wanted to be circumcised more then anything else. I of course felt like I could not discuss it with my parents but as soon as I left home after high school and had the money I was circumcised.

If I had it to do over? I am really torn about that question. Sometimes I think I should have left it and other times I'm glad I had it done. It was a bit of an initiation for me and at the time it was very healing after the way I'd felt about myself all those years. If I had a boy I'd let him decide as he grew older and then support whatever his decision was. To answer the question is it abuse? I would answer no, I don't think of it is as abuse. I was actually offended once by someone who was uncircumcised and described my penis as being mutilated because it was circumcised. I don't think of it that way.


#323443 - 02/27/10 06:37 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: Elad 12]
westsidej Offline

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 157
Loc: Minnesota
Taz, Charlie, Dale,

My view right off the bat. I believe in circumcision and don't see it as a form of abuse or genital mutilation.

Thanks for the posts & insight. Taz, I read that article and to be honest, I found many of her points had more of a basis in emotions & her personal views rather than science or even reason. Her second reference not only rebukes her own argument about preventing disease but renders her point moot. Comparing a cut penis to female genital mutilation where the clitoris is removed so the women can't feel pleasure & have an orgasm??? Please stop. And what's a visionary pioneer?

However, you're right, it's good to generate a debate, hopefully civil & respectful. Way to engage and be out front!

Charlie, I am the opposite. I am the circumcised male of an uncircumcised father. I also disagree, respectfully, that it's a form of genital mutilation being perpetrated on our male babies.

Does it remove some sensitive foreskin from the penis? Yes. Do men who have circumcisions orgasm, tend to last longer due to less sensitivity & enjoy sexual intercourse? Yes. Can you say the same about female genital mutilation? No.

This seems to be analogous, correct me if you feel I am wrong, to this whole let's be our child's friend, not their parent psycho-babble along w/ letting kids make their own choices since we're just their caretakers logic. Too many parents want to be the good guy/girl and so they put off or avoid making tough decisions or let the child just do what they want as a "free spirit."

You see these children all the time at restaurants, malls, coffee shops, theaters, museums, art galleries, train stations, airports, grocery stores...Aren't they just a joy to be around w/ their friends aka parents?

Dale, I know what we talked about before, but I still want to give you props. I agree w/ almost all of your points, especially on the not being child abuse aspects and applaud your willingness to share your thoughts on it and why you had one. Thank you.

Here's where I stand. I had a circumcision since my mom's Jewish, albeit secular, and she was the one calling the shots. My dad was also 1/2 Jewish but on his father's side. Not sure why my grandmother didn't have him circumcised but since my grandfather abandoned her, he didn't really have a say.

There are the obvious hygiene & sexual perks to having a circumcised penis but I think all of us know what those are, whether w/ a woman or man.

I've never had a problem w/ my penis being circumcised but could see how someone who wasn't, especially in the locker room, have problems or issues about it. There were problems related to my CSA but that would've have cropped up regardless of being cut/uncut.

I do have a son and yes, he's circumcised for both religious, my wife's part Jewish as well, and health reasons. Was my wife totally on board w/ it? No. Did she let me make the decision as the husband and male? Yes. I talked to the doctor who performed it, didn't have a bris, and she said that the boys will never know what happened or remember the pain.

How about all of the foot pricks they do on girls and boys to draw blood or the babies who have to have tubes to breathe or their umbilical cord cut? Is that also abuse?

There so many studies on this issue and the one cited in your article by Dr. Gray from Johns Hopkins might be one of the best ones out there laying out both sides and what happens when children are not circumcised.

Two final points. The UN can go screw themselves if they try to equate circumcision w/ the practice of female genital mutilation and by doing so, attempt to ban it worldwide.

Secondly, it will continue to be debated and contested for years to come but the parent still gets to have the final say, not the state, not the UN, not someone in authority who has an axe to grind for whatever reason.

Besides, President Obama's in favor of circumcision for everyone.

Take care and thanks for the respectful debate so far.


My CSA story TRIGGERS!!!!

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

#323447 - 02/27/10 11:40 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: westsidej]
TheBobcatAgain Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 524
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Hi, everyone. I would like to respond as well.

I don't have any statistics or website links, pros or cons. Just my personal history to share with you.

Anyone who has read my survivor story knows that I am not circumsized. I am also the uncircumsized son of a circumsized father, and didn't understand why my penis looked different from everyone else's. Because of the high rate of circumcision in the U.S., I felt very alone in being uncircumsized.

This is deeply personal for me, but I will share this story with all of you. When I heard about the communal showers in high school, I was terrified that the other boys would see my uncircumsized penis (I still didn't know why my penis looked different), and torment me with ridicule. I mean it: I was TERRIFIED. I was so terrified, in fact, that I somehow made myself sick for the first three weeks of high school, so I wouldn't have to go. By the time I finally entered high school, the coach was letting the boys shower only if they felt like it. However, the first time I went into that locker room, I found out I was the ONLY one with an uncircumsized penis, and I was deeply ashamed. (I don't know exactly when I learned that I had an uncircumsized penis, but I do know it was AFTER high school.)

In fact, due to my shame, I can count on one hand the number of times I have been naked in public in my entire life. The last time was in a gym shower when I was around the age of 20 - I had finally gotten up enough courage to display my naked body in a locker room. I will never forget the odd looks the guys gave me as they stared - STARED - at my penis. That was the last time I undressed in public.

I also discussed wanting to be circumsized with my doctor when I was around 20 years old. I will NEVER forget his very simple answer: "No." I thought doctors knew everything, so I didn't question his decision. Let me say that again: HIS decision. It wasn't until last year that I found out that men can be circumsized well into adulthood, and that it is their choice for the procedure, and not their doctor's. (By the way, I did not have any health or medical reasons why I couldn't have been circumsized, then or now.) I also learned last year that I am, in fact, among the vast majority of males on Earth who have not been circumsized. If only I had known that in my childhood.

I haven't decided whether I'm going to have the procedure done or not, but it is comforting to know that I'm not alone in being uncircumsized, and that I have a choice if and when I want to be circumsized.

I'm really not pro or con on the subject of circumcision - I'll leave that to others. And I apologize for the long story, but this has been a subject of PROFOUND importance throughout my life, and I felt others who have also been through this might benefit from it. If there had been more uncircumsized males around when I was growing up, I wouldn't have felt such shame about an important part of my body.

Thank you for letting me share this. I hope it helps someone.


You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

#323515 - 02/28/10 05:10 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
Is circumcision of an unconsenting participant abuse?
The answer is yes.

I could argue my point, but isn't it pretty straight forward?

Here in the UK i think circumcision is less common- i don't know anybody who has been circumcised.

#323524 - 02/28/10 06:20 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: king tut]
catfish86 Offline

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 833
Loc: Ohio
I am of the mindset that it is a religious requirement. I have had both of my sons circumsized. It is biblical. It is a Jewish tradition but I believe that Christianity is a Jewish Sect. I honestly believe that many of the traditions of the Bible have a scientfic basis. With my first son, the doctor tried to talk me out of it but then said an anasthetic was not necessary. I insisted on one stating my personal disbelief that an infant had not feeling.

Edited by catfish86 (02/28/10 06:23 AM)
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

#323578 - 02/28/10 07:26 PM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: king tut]
myboyhoodfears Offline

Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
no circumcision is not is a medical and religious choice there is no proof that the vast majority of circumcised individuals cannot function sexually, do not enjoy sex, and cannot father children, or generally feel deprived of a normal healthy sex life because they lack a fact recent studies show a medical benefit from circumcision possibly reducing HIV infection rates. it is not mutilation as that term implies that the foreskin is critical for normal sexual functioning, and that a majority of circumcised males are not able to enjoy sex specifically because they are circumcised.

female circumcision is mutilation because it causes permanent damage to an essential part of what makes sex enjoyable for women, the removal of the clitoris, which is the specific point of female circumcision, is to intentionally prevent the possibility that women can enjoy sex, perhaps because of the belief that sex should only be enjoyed by males....male circumcision does not have this motivation and the subsiquent result of a properly done circumcision is not a total lack of healthy sexual funtioning...quite the opposite.

i was circumcised and i can achieve orgasm just fine. you can ask all the sex partners Ive had if they feel slighted because i lack a foreskin, and I'm pretty certain the answer to that question is, uhh no,...and i can assure you that i don't feel slighted either....i also feel that the characterization that its equivalent to female genital mutilation, is offensive.

Post Nubilia Pheobus

#323579 - 02/28/10 07:35 PM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: catfish86]
kidneythis Offline

Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 1558
I know we're all CSA victims so we have sex issues but in my mind being so focused on one portion of the body for whatever reason isn't healthy. If its done or not, it seems to me it is only an issue to young men in locker rooms who find themselves in the minority on either side. As men grow I think becoming self assured eliminates the insecurities of being different physically.
It has been of form of distinguishing certain cultures, not only Jews, from the rest for thousands of years.
I think this partly came from the old war practice of collecting foreskins of the dead to count how many enemy you killed. There is also the infections one can get when one has a foreskin. In the past before modern understanding of cleanliness I'm sure it was much more commomn for men to have infections of the foreskin.

My thought on the matter is that one shouldn't be dwelling on how ones penis looks circumsized or not both are normal to the human race. I think if one is then there may be some other issue looming.

As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

#323626 - 03/01/10 04:22 AM Re: Is circumcision abuse? [Re: kidneythis]
TJ jeff Offline

Registered: 08/07/04
Posts: 3603
Loc: Northern Wisconsin
I believe that the only one who should make the decission to be circumcised is the person the foreskin is attached to... (and that decission should not be made untill the boy is an adult - ie. 18) (unless there is a problem in which it's medicaly necessary to remove it)

I know no one has responded about the "risks" of circumcission - I was sort of hoping someone else would take the lead - but... the fact is circumcissions are not 100% safe - I'm proof of that - without getting too graphic - was cut too short as a baby - has taken many years of skin stretching to not have a painfuly tight erection - and... I know there are others out there in the world who have had much worse problems - even heard of a child years back who had a doc cut to deep and literaly amputate his penis

in my mind it's simply not worth the risk to remove a perfectly healthy piece of skin (think about it... what other body parts would you let a doctor remove even if they where perfectly healthy?)

I'd talked with my wife about "if" we had a baby boy - would we have him circumcised? - our mutual answer is NO - and I can gaurantee you the the boy will not have to deal with feelings of shame of being diffrent from others because he will have a father who will explain the diffrences to him (and it makes me sad to read of the guys here who did not have fathers explain to them the diffrences - guys... the shame belongs to your fathers - not you! - they should have explained the difrences to you)

well... that's my feelings on the issue (and a whole lot more than I thought I'd ever say on it)

TJ jeff

Who will cry for the little boy? - I will... - Antwone Fisher

Abuse happens in silence/isolation - Recovery happens only when that silence/isolation is broken...

TJ's History

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