Monday, May 27, 2013

Circumcision = Ritual Initiation = Hazing

From Wikipedia:

Hazing is the practice of rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group. [...] Hazing is often prohibited by law and may comprise either Physical abuse (possibly violent) or psychological abuse. It may also include nudity or sexually-oriented offenses. [...]

The armed forces have long had hazing rituals, which often involve violence and punishments. The United States military defines hazing as unnecessarily exposing a fellow soldier to an act which is cruel, abusive, oppressive, or harmful. [...]

It is a subjective matter where to draw to line between "normal" hazing (somewhat abusive) and a rite of passage (essentially bonding; proponents may argue they can coincide), and there is a gray area where it passes over into sheer degrading, even harmful abuse that should not be tolerated even if accepted voluntarily (serious but avoidable accidents do still happen; deliberate abuse with similar grave medical consequences occurs, in some traditions rather often).

"Hazing" refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person's willingness to participate.[4] [...]

Hazing is a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics operating in a group and/or organization and within a particular cultural context.[4]

According to, hazing activities are generally considered to be physically abusive, hazardous, and/or sexually violating. The specific behaviors or activities within these categories vary widely among participants, groups and settings. While alcohol use is common in many types of hazing, other examples of typical hazing practices include personal servitude; sleep deprivation and restrictions on personal hygiene; yelling, swearing and insulting new members/rookies; being forced to wear embarrassing or humiliating attire in public; consumption of vile substances or smearing of such on one's skin; brandings; physical beatings; binge drinking and drinking games; sexual simulation and sexual assault. [...]

Dissonance can produce feelings of group attraction or social identity among initiates after the hazing experience because they want to justify the effort used. Rewards during initiations or hazing rituals matter in that initiates who feel more rewarded express stronger group identity.[34] As well as increasing group attraction, hazing can produce conformity among new members.[35] Hazing could also increase feelings of affiliation because of the stressful nature of the hazing experience .[36]

From the AAP Policy Statement on Circumcision:

Parents ultimately should decide whether circumcision is in the best interests of their male child. They will need to weigh medical information in the context of their own religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs and practices. The medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families.

Which begs the question, what weight do religious, ethical and cultural beliefs hold when performing a surgery that knowingly excises normal healthy genital tissue?

One image is worth a thousand words:

African Hazing

American Hazing

Islamic Hazing

Turkish Hazing

Jewish Hazing

Filipino Hazing

Welcome to the World boy, we own your penis. Now, move on.

15    Sec. 12-33. Ritualized abuse of a child.
16    (a) A person commits ritualized abuse of a child when he or
17 she knowingly commits any of the following acts with, upon, or
18 in the presence of a child as part of a ceremony, rite or any
19 similar observance:
20        (1) actually or in simulation, tortures, mutilates, or
21    sacrifices any warm-blooded animal or human being;
22        (2) forces ingestion, injection or other application
23    of any narcotic, drug, hallucinogen or anaesthetic for the
24    purpose of dulling sensitivity, cognition, recollection
25    of, or resistance to any criminal activity;


16    (b) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed
17 to apply to:

21        (2) the lawful medical practice of male circumcision or
22    any ceremony related to male circumcision;

(From a proposed draft for Illinois SB1858)
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

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