Last month I was selling the idea of getting your nuts cut a la vasectomy. Strangely some of my close friends have had testicular issues in the wake of that article and I got a little spooked and decided I ought to make a sort of reciprocal stand for NOT cutting your son’s Penis. That’s right, this month I’m keeping it real and balanced by getting up on my soapbox about circumcision. I want to acknowledge Rena Rejoice Blumberg’s circumcision article from the May Mauimama article. She clearly has a very pro foreskin position. Amen, sista’.
Certainly there are ancient historical roots of circumcision, but most commonly the practice is credited to Judaism. Anyone who knows me knows that I appreciate Judaism. Truth be told I think Passover is a more symbolic holiday than just about any other. Judaism is generally more accepting of sex than other religions (clearly a plus) and I’ll put my favorite Jewish Deli up against any other sandwich shop in the universe. However, I have a score to settle with the Jews on circumcision. Covenant with God? Seriously? I know, I know…Tradition!
Ever notice that with little infant boys we call it circumcision while with little girls it’s genital mutilation? How have we become so accepting of severing an infant boy’s most delicate skin?
There is currently a mixed review on the health benefits and costs of circumcision. The American Academy of Pediatrics is likely to revise their “neutral” position on circumcision by the end of 2012. Some research suggests that sexually transmitted infections are more likely to be associated with uncircumcised men but there are lots of interpretations of data. Historically, uncircumcised men are specific to cultures and beliefs, which may also have something to do with STDs. Historically if we were really concerned about disease, wouldn’t we have circumcised livestock by now?
There are some common sense reasons for leaving things as they came into this world. The number of nerve endings lost in circumcision is estimated between 10 and 20 thousand. The actual penis has around 4 thousand and the clitoris, around 8 thousand. Never mind the nerve endings, the collective loss of penile girth in the world is staggering. The foreskin serves as protection and aids sexual intercourse. Infant boys die every year from complications from circumcision. If the STD concern lingers, consider that regular use of a condom would generally make it a moot point anyway.
Everyone has to do what is right for them and their family, but please think this one over carefully. If you’ve never seen an infant boy having his foreskin severed and how he screams, check it out before you put your own son through it.
Image Credit: Gaia Photography