This has been quite an informational node with logic
ally presented arguments, despite the emotionality of this topic. The point has been made that comparison of male genital mutilation
, to female genital mutilation
is difficult and suspect. They are two different phenomena, with different ramifications and FGM is by far the worse of the two, but this does not make MGM any less brutal or any less inhumane.
To discuss this further we must define mutilation. Mutilation is best defined, as the intentional removal or damage healthy, functional tissue, without consent.
We will start with some facts courtesy of www.infocirc.org
- In the year 1998, 57.2% of male children born in the U.S. Were circumcised before leaving the hospital.
- Over 80% of the world's male population is genitally intact, with 20% being subjected to some form of childhood genital mutilation
- Over 90% of infant circumcisions performed in the U.S. are for non-religious reasons, making the U.S. The only nation to circumcise the majority of its infants for non-religious reasons.
- 100% of infant circumcisions are done without the consent of the individual concerned.
- The fact that the foreskin in infancy is usually non-retractile serves to protect the baby's glans penis from urine and feces during the period that he is incontinent.
- Infant circumcision interrupts natural penile development.
- No accurate statistical records are kept of infant circumcision complications According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the exact incidence of postoperative complications is unknown.
- Complications are often overlooked or un(der)reported. They include: Lacerations, skin bridges, chordee, meatitis, meatal stenosis, urinary retention, glans necrosis, haemorrhage, meningitis, sepsis, gangrene, and penile loss requiring sex reassignment. The literature abounds with reports of morbidity, and even death, from infant circumcision.
- Infants rarely receive anaesthesia or postoperative pain management.
- No anaesthetic has been found to be safe and totally effective in preventing circumcision pain in infants. (A man circumcised in adulthood will be given the benefit of general anaesthetic, postoperative pain management, choice and informed consent over the fate of his own genital integrity.)
- Breast feeding has a protective effect against urinary tract infection (UTI) and other infant infections. There is a threefold reduction in urinary tract infections during the first year of life in breast-fed infants according to the AAP. Interestingly, 195 boys would have to be circumcised to prevent one hospitalization for UTI in the first year of life according to the study by To, while breast-feeding provides a threefold reduction of the risk.
- Long-term possible adverse outcomes (physical) include: skin tags; skin bridges; prominent scarring (keloid scar formation); tight, painful erections; bleeding of the circumcision scar during prolonged intercourse (constituting an efficient portal of entry for HIV among other viruses); penile curvature due to uneven skin loss; skin tone variance; progressive sensitivity loss (progressive keratinization of the glans-surface); excessive/painful stimulation or prolonged exaggerated thrusting needed to achieve orgasm; bevelling deformities of the glans.
- Ob/Gyn's, specialists in female genitalia and practising out of their field, perform most new-born male circumcisions, and are generally unaware of perpetual (foreskin) structure and function.
- Annually, there are more infant deaths from infant circumcisions than deaths from cancer of the penis. this list is nowhere near comprehensive.
The three major methods of western circumcision used can be found on www.infocirc.org with pictures and graphic description, too graphic to be placed here. I will warn you now that anyone with less than a cast iron stomach may with to forgo viewing this material.
There are a multitude of groups within, Judaism and Islam, that seek an end to circumcision, and this practice has never been required or recommended in any of the Christian sects. The Koran, makes no reference to either male or female circumcision. More information can be found at www.infocirc.org
I regret not being able say all that should be said on this subject, but know that it is not my place to create a node so large that no one will be able to download it in my lifetime.