The Circumcision Discussion - page 19

I know this can be a HUGE debate, and I'm not looking to start any arguments. I was just wondering as you are OB nurses. I'm expecting a boy in July and not sure if we should circ. or not. My... Read More

  1. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from jjjoy
    2) Circ'ing might be cost-effective versus the cost of caring for an infected patient, decreased further transmission, and the cost to society of the death of so many, especially mothers.
    Is there actually any cost associated with the "care" of an infected patient? What is the standard African treatment?

    Quote from jjjoy
    3) I haven't heard that uncirc'd men are more likely to use condoms than circ'd men. I have heard that sensation is decreased in circ'd men which means that a condom would only further decrease sensation but that doesn't mean than uncirc'd men are willing to use condoms more consistently than circ'd men. In regard to dry sex, I don't see how circumcision would make a difference in regard to the woman's empowerment. Maybe you can expand on this argument.
    Well, this is not my finding. But I digress: from what I read into this, an uncirc'd man will more readily force the issue of condomless sex, as condoms will further decrease an already desensitized penis.

    I postulate that circumcision would have the opposite effect on dry sex - decreasing or ending it completely. I can see how an intact male could have dry sex, I cannot fathom how a circumcised male would physically be able to do this. Unless I'm missing something, this finding tends to find in favor of circumcision.

    Quote from jjjoy
    1) Kinda hard to have an ethically done research study without volunteers. Research does have limits in being able to answer questions for us.
    I still think it is a valid point. It indicates that volunteers may have been more concerned about HIV transmission to begin with - after all, they are volunteering for a HIV study. They may have been more careful than the average African in regards to disease prevention. It shouldn't be hard to do an "involuntary" study to see if this single factor affects the outcome.
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    OK, I haven't weighed in on this thread in awhile in the hopes that it would right itself back into a discussion of reducing HIV. However, I feel the need to debunk some of the anti-circ propaganda. Some of what I'm going to say might be a tad graphic, but not crude, and we are all grownups.

    1. The idea of selling foreskins for mass profit is patently silly. It doesn't pass the smell test. A. Give me something besides anecdotal evidence that doctors are getting a large 'cut' of the profit from aftermarket selling of foreskins. B. Many of you witness circs everyday as part of your jobs: how many of you have outlined procedures for the handling and packaging of foreskins for later resell? C. Even presuming there is more than silliness to the claim, how many of you that strongly disapprove of such uses for non-essential parts support the use of embryonic stem cells, a procedure known to absolutely destroy its donor? It's silly to claim that doctors are making huge profits by performing a procedure that is being performed simply because it's in high demand. Not only that, but it is downright slanderous to state that so many doctors view their bottom line so much more valuable then their patient advocacy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most doctors today completely yield the decision to parents, and STILL, a majority of them opt for circumcision.

    2. The whole human rights violation argument is rubbish. As a parent, I have an obligation to determine what is in the best interests of my child. There ARE benefits to being circ'd, reduction of infections, cancer, etc. While it IS true that many professional organizations now advocate that the risk/benefit is a wash, it is NOT true that there is no benefit at all. That's a parent's decision to make, in the best interest of their children. It's no different then giving your child immunizations, and I don't see many arguing THAT is a human rights violation. Combine this with the fact that memory of pain is a strong inducement against the performance of such a procedure as an adult (along with several others, including embarrassment to undergo such a procedure as an adult, missed work/healing time, gossip, and observable body image differences) and the argument that a child should be able to make that decision, AS AN ADULT can be viewed as a form of abuse - if you, as a parent, feel that the procedure is in their best interests.

    3. The argument that the risk is too great doesn't bear fruit. Even if you take the oft cited stat of 1/500,000 mortality, that still not only falls well below the incidence of death by penile cancer and other diseases such as UTIs and STDs that could be prevented to make this argument unsubstantiated against a real measure of risk/benefit.

    4. The whole sensitivity debate is a wash. Those that have not been circ'd cannot compare their experience to those that have anymore than the other way around: it's altogether subjective. For those that have been circ'd as an adult, the real studies of their preferences have been completely conflicting in their data. While some studies show a decrease in sensitivity, other studies show an increase in overall sexual satisfaction.

    5. What CAN be proven in studies is that circ'd men have more varied sexual experiences. 71% of women in a study by a national urology assoc. preferred circ over non-circ and circ'd men were 1.44 times more likely to be offered to be engaged in oral sex. In fact, contrary to popular imagery about the original purpose of circs, circ'd males are much more likely to masturbate, another greater avenue to 'varied sexual experiences'. In addition, circ'd males are much less likely to be subject to premature ejaculation - widely considered a sexual disfunction: especially if you are that male's female mate.

    6. Comparisons with female mutilation are completely specious. The purpose of female mutilation is to deprive a person of sexual gratification. The purpose of circ'ing a male is hygiene and/or religious reasons. In fact, male circ cannot be proven to deprive either a sexual drive or sexual sensation. There is absolutely no proof of this oft repeated claim. Given the fact that circ'd males have a greater variety of sexual experiences, the issue, absent any real evidence of sensation differences has to give an advantage to being circ'd for the numerical and variety differences.

    7. Survey's of male adolescents have found that there are more uncirc'd males stating that they wished they had been circ'd then the other way around.

    The are benefits to being circ'd. Whether those benefits outweigh the extremely small risks involved is a parental decision. If you don't want your child circ'd simply put: don't do it. But absent any clear contraindication -and there is none, it is simply not anybody's place to force their belief system wholesale on others. There IS no great and pressing moral rationale to browbeat parents about their legitimate healthcare decisions regarding their children.

    Those against circs have no more right to force their belief system on others then to have their child being circ'd forced on them. The problem with trying to force YOUR belief system on others is that you open the avenues for having the belief systems of others forced upon you. Once you concede that this is a 'pressing moral issue' that requires an enforced outcome, you open up the possibility that, should concensus decide that the moral issue is in favor of circumcision, that you also must yield to the pressing moral tide, should that tide someday turn.

    Bottom line, the risk/benefit plays out differently for those with different belief systems. The RIGHT to exercise YOUR beliefs on the matter is contingent upon those that hold a different belief system having an equal RIGHT. It simply isn't a moral issue. There is a danger to either side of the debate when we make it an emotionally packed, moral issue. The danger is in the way the tide blows in.

    It simply isn't wise to charge such an issue with such emotion and passion unless you are also willing to concede to whatever direction such emotion and passions steers the debate.

    Sex and Circumcision – how circumcision impacts physical sexual sensitivity
    Debunking the Anti-Circumcision myths
    Sex and Circumcision - Impact of Circumcision on Sexual Pleasure

    I highly recommend reading the below article for a full round debate on the issue:

    How not to argue about circumcision

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Dec 22, '06
  3. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    The idea of selling foreskins for mass profit is patently silly. ......how many of you that strongly disapprove of such uses for non-essential parts support the use of embryonic stem cells, a procedure known to absolutely destroy its donor?
    I have no doubt that the foreskins are being sold and used. I doubt that it involves "mass profits" or that any doctor is performing such procedure for profit (hospitals are a completely different story). However, hospitals or other providers certainly could charge whatever they want. After all, this cannot be made in a lab. It is human tissue that carries a relatively high price.

    Careful with the use of non-essential parts. While it's true that it will not kill you, the same could be said of the ears, nose, eyebrows, or various fat deposits about the body. While not essential, I would not approve of the removal of ears or a nose, just because said removal does not kill the patient.

    This company uses foreskins: CCR: Neonatal Foreskin Epidermal Keratinocytes

    Ethical use of human tissue, see page 23, section 4.3

    http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/fil...man_tissue.pdf

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    2. The whole human rights violation argument is rubbish. As a parent, I have an obligation to determine what is in the best interests of my child. There ARE benefits to being circ'd, reduction of infections, cancer, etc. While it IS true that many professional organizations now advocate that the risk/benefit is a wash, it is NOT true that there is no benefit at all. That's a parent's decision to make, in the best interest of their children. It's no different then giving your child immunizations, and I don't see many arguing THAT is a human rights violation. Combine this with the fact that memory of pain is a strong inducement to the performance of such a procedure as an adult and the argument that a child should be able to make that decision, AS AN ADULT can be viewed as a form of abuse - if you, as a parent, feel that the procedure is in their best interests.
    Incorrect, IMO. It is not the parents' responsibility to determine the removal of a body part. As you are aware, the foreskin contains a very high amount of nerve cells, including the frenulum - a very nerve dense area that contributes greatly to the sensation felt. By the same argument, would you say that it is fair for adults who have a family history of breast cancer to remove the breasts as a prevention?

    In addition, men who have undergone one of the many foreskin restoration methods have reported a restoration of feeling that they didn't know existed (Myself included. This is not anecdotal, it is my own personal experience.)

    Finally, I have never used pain in my discussions. I do not think that is relevant. My issue is not with pain, but with the loss of the tissue itself. Pain is temporary, the tissue and associated nerves can never be replaced.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    4. The whole sensitivity debate is a wash. Those that have not been circ'd cannot compare their experience to those that have anymore than the other way around
    In my own personal experience, there is a huge difference. While I can never be truly restored, simply restoring what I can makes a HUGE difference.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    5. What CAN be proven in studies is that circ'd men have more varied sexual experiences. 71% of women in a study by a national urology assoc. preferred circ over non-circ and circ'd men were 1.44 times more likely to be offered to be engaged in oral sex. In fact, contrary to popular imagery about the original purpose of circs, circ'd males are much more likely to masturbate, another greater avenue to 'varied sexual experiences'. In addition, circ'd males are much less likely to be subject to premature ejaculation - widely considered a sexual disfunction: especially if you are that male's female mate.
    There are a host of problems associated with circumcision, including ED. I have also experienced this. Note that the US has one of the world's highest circumcision rates, and also is the largest user of ED drugs. In respect to the "varied sexual experiences", I postulate that if NO males were circumcised, an intact penis would be considered a "normal" penis, rather than a bizarre oddity.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    6. Comparisons with female mutilation are completely specious. The purpose of female mutilation is to deprive a person of sexual gratification. The purpose of circ'ing a male is hygiene and/or religious reasons. In fact, male circ cannot be proven to deprive either a sexual drive or sexual sensation. There is absolutely no proof of this oft repeated claim.
    I personally have experienced some benefit from restoration. I can only imagine being fully intact. As you know, both female and male genitalia come from the same group of cells and cannot be distinguished in the earliest stages. Removal of the foreskin is akin to removing the clitoral hood. Wouldn't removing the hood result in the exact same benefits as circumcision? Reduced infections, cancer, etc. Why then, do we not remove the hood in females?

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    7. Survey's of male adolescents have found that there are more uncirc'd males stating that they wished they had been circ'd then the other way around.
    I wish I had not (and I suspect that more men feel the same way - but will not admit and/or discuss it). If I had not been, I would be able to make that decision on my own. You can be circumcised at any stage of life. You can never be uncircumcised.

    Again, I wonder whether this would be true if there were NO circumcised men? I think not.

    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    The are benefits to being circ'd. Whether those benefits outweigh the extremely small risks involved is a parental decision. If you don't want your child circ'd simply put: don't do it. But absent any clear contraindication -and there is none, it is simply not anybody's place to force their belief system wholesale on others.
    .....
    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    My concern has nothing to do with the risk of infection or death (driving a car daily is far more dangerous than any circumcision), and everything to do with an irreversible decision not made by the person, but by someone else.

    I argue that performing a circumcision without a child's consent is forcing the belief of the parents and society as a whole on the child. The child has no say in the matter and is therefore subject to someone else's belief. The very point that you are arguing against.

    It seems to me that none of the "benefits" can really be proven. This includes the ambiguous claims of reduced infection or cancer rates. It seems to me the entire issue of circumcision really revolves around aesthetics. "So he looks like his dad" or "So he is the same as everyone else". I cannot recall a great deal of staring at my childhood friends' genitals, nor do I recall ever seeing my father's. The idea of "looking like everyone else" is absurd and incomprehensible to me. And why this idea focuses on genitals is even more silly. We don't walk around nude, and staring at another's "privates" is a social faux pas. I would worry more about height and/or weight (and judging by America's ever expanding waistline, this just isn't the case).

    I think the practice is silly, worthless, and generally causes more problems than it allegedly solves. This doesn't even take into account the senseless claim that it would resolve much of the HIV problems in Africa.
    Last edit by mvanz9999 on Dec 22, '06
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    4. the whole sensitivity debate is a wash. those that have not been circ'd cannot compare their experience to those that have anymore than the other way around: it's altogether subjective. for those that have been circ'd as an adult, the real studies of their preferences have been completely conflicting in their data. while some studies show a decrease in sensitivity, other studies show an increase in overall sexual satisfaction.


    speaking as a woman who used to be a teenager and hung around with teenage boys and had a teenage boyfriend and as a woman who has been married a couple of times and who has never seen an uncircumcised man and as the mother of 3 boys (granted one is 5 but he found his penis at a young age while in the bathtub like most young boys but two of my sons are adults) . . . . . . . .. i'd have to say that hormones which determine sexual attraction and sexual gratification have more to do with sexual satisfaction than whether a guy has a foreskin or not.

    those teenage boys were and still are "randy" . . . . . so to speak. having a foreskin or not makes no difference . . . look at an attractive woman - a man's best friend stands to attention. and in my experience as a married woman, that continues to be the case even at my advanced age. keep in mind i didn't want to have my boys circ'd - both my ex and my now dh made that choice.

    as to restoration - docs cannot reattach nerves can they? how do you have any feeling in restored skin? just asking . . . .

    "pain is temporary, the tissue and associated nerves can never be replaced."

    as others have mentioned, circumcision probably isn't the best way to go about making a sea change in behavior in africa . . . .

    steph




  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from mvanz9999

    it seems to me that none of the "benefits" can really be proven. this includes the ambiguous claims of reduced infection or cancer rates. it seems to me the entire issue of circumcision really revolves around aesthetics. "so he looks like his dad" or "so he is the same as everyone else". i cannot recall a great deal of staring at my childhood friends' genitals, nor do i recall ever seeing my father's. the idea of "looking like everyone else" is absurd and incomprehensible to me. and why this idea focuses on genitals is even more silly. we don't walk around nude, and staring at another's "privates" is a social faux pas. i would worry more about height and/or weight (and judging by america's ever expanding waistline, this just isn't the case).

    hi again - i had to smile when i read the above because in my experience, boys do look.

    during potty training it is daddy who shows son how to pee in the toilet. we've also been known to pee in the woods while cutting firewood - both dad and sons together.

    my #2 son used to "pee for distance" by standing against the wall in the bathroom and aiming for the toilet. both my sons' have written their names in the snow.

    at a dinner at a friend's home, their 3 year old son needed to pee and daddy took him and must have gone pee too because the 3 year old came back to the table and said "my daddy has a big penis". :d

    we took my youngest son and his friend to a logging show last year and dh took them both to the bathroom and while they were peeing they looked at each other and one child said to the other "my who-who is bigger than yours". competition starts early with boys . . .

    our policy is to not make a big deal out of this stuff - it is normal and natural to wonder about that thingamabob between their legs . . . and wonder they do.

    i have three sons . . . and one daughter . . . .


    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Dec 22, '06
  6. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from stevielynn

    as to restoration - docs cannot reattach nerves can they? how do you have any feeling in restored skin? just asking . . . .
    no. in fact, the nerve tissue has been discarded. you can opt for surgery if you are very wealthy, but if not, one must resort to stretching, which uses a variety of techniques to increase the surface area of the skin on the shaft to cover the glans. that is all either option does. cover the glans.

    this results in a couple things. the surface of the glans but a moist mucous membrane. without the foreskin, the glans becomes dried, toughened, and has decreased sensitivity. stretching the skin and allowing it to cover the glans once again results in thinner skin over the glans as well as moisture retention. in my experience, this results in a much stronger sensation, which really wasn't a problem until i got into my 30s.

    you can definitely see (and feel) the dramatic softening and thinning of the skin. reportedly the slackness generated increases pleasure for both partners.

    tlc tugger tapeless foreskin restoration devices, products, and services
  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from mvanz9999
    No. In fact, the nerve tissue has been discarded. You can opt for surgery if you are very wealthy, but if not, one must resort to stretching, which uses a variety of techniques to increase the surface area of the skin on the shaft to cover the glans. That is all either option does. Cover the glans.

    This results in a couple things. The surface of the glans but a moist mucous membrane. Without the foreskin, the glans becomes dried, toughened, and has decreased sensitivity. Stretching the skin and allowing it to cover the glans once again results in thinner skin over the glans as well as moisture retention. In my experience, this results in a much stronger sensation, which really wasn't a problem until I got into my 30s.

    You can definitely see (and feel) the dramatic softening and thinning of the skin. Reportedly the slackness generated increases pleasure for BOTH partners.

    TLC Tugger Tapeless Foreskin Restoration Devices, Products, and Services
    Thanks for clearing that up . . . .


    steph
  8. by   onehusbandsevenkids
    I have to bow out of this discussion now.

    People who are so adament about cutting off a child's genitals scare me.
  9. by   CHATSDALE
    if a parent opts for circ due to religion or personal preference they are not violating childs human rights and those who think that they should be allowed to determine anothers beliefs are the ones who are violating rights
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from onehusbandsevenkids
    I have to bow out of this discussion now.

    People who are so adament about cutting off a child's genitals scare me.
    Cutting off "genitals" is not what circumcision does. It is the foreskin. Penis and testicles are left intact.

    Remember, I'm not the one who decided to circ my boys. But I've seen lots of circ's and for the most part the babies do not cry. Alot of them sleep. Of course this is when the docs who use lidocaine do the circ. As I may have mentioned (there are a couple of threads on circ's going on) one of our docs refuses to use any pain meds and that baby does cry. And I won't help this doc.

    steph
  11. by   RN mom of 2
    Quote from onehusbandsevenkids
    I have to bow out of this discussion now.

    People who are so adament about cutting off a child's genitals scare me.
    I have my theories why this is the case, but I'm choosing to bow out, as well. I don't think we can offer any more information, or sites to look at than we already have. For those interested, there is a wealth of info here, as well as great websites to check out.
  12. by   GardenDove
    I can't believe this thread is still going
  13. by   twotrees2
    Quote from buddiage
    Glad to have a girl...my husband and I went around and around with this, because we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl.

    My 2 cents: if you can keep it clean, then leave it. I would wonder about being in a nursing home and how often that duty actually gets done, so there's a pro to it.
    ahh the point i have been waiting to see - i would say that uncircd males dont get cleaned well in nursing homes and its hard enough to get the girls to pull circd males back and get them clean- i have had to teach the same girls over and over with the uncircd we have HOW to get the skin back without to much stimulation and they still are uncomfortable doing it- sad they cant get beyond the fact that mr74 yr old can get a little stiff whilst they are diddling trying to get that skin back - its actually kinda funny how embarrassed these girls get - they are all sexually active and proud and loud about it and they get sheepish lol.

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