While it may be true that male circumcision
is no more necessary than female
circumcision, there is a fallacy is in equating the two practices.
In a male circumcision the operation
removes a piece of skin surrounding the head of the penis
that is more than likely a vestigial remnant of a penis sheath
, a common accessory among mammals
. The procedure is done to aid in cleanliness, and because many cultures believe it to be the right thing to do
Female circumcision is slightly different. Whereas in the male procedure, only a small amount of skin is removed, skin I might add that serves little or no purpose; in the female procedure many useful
parts are removed. There exist several different techniques.
Some people practice the relatively minor procedure that calls for the removal of the outer or minor labia
. A more drastic procedure, used in modern day Sudan
, termed Pharonic Circumcision
calls for the removal of the clitoris
, and both the minor and major labia. The wound is then stitched together leaving only a small opening for the host to pass urine
Clearly female genital mutilation is varied in its severity, but some would argue that it is always severe
. This, I believe was Jasonm
's point. Furthermore, male circumcision is almost always performed shortly after birth
, when the host is far too young to be traumatized
by the action.
Conversely, female circumcision is most often performed on hosts when they are between five and eleven years of age, certainly old enough to feel the pain
and remember it well. Additionally, depending on the type of procedure, it may have to be revisited when the host is older and of a marrying age, especially in the case of the Pharonic Circumcision
, where the stitched wound
must be reopened to allow for intercourse
The Female procedure is much more brutal
and obviously a method of male control
and perhaps cultural misogyny
. The Male procedure is nothing more than elective
or cosmetic surgery
, it will not hamper the function of the male organ
or impede pleasure
derived from stimulation
Towsend, Patricia K. and McElroy, Ann, Medical Anthropology in Ecological Perspective, Third Edition. Westview Press 1996, pages 113 - 115.