Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Irrational tradition

"1:39 "I can't help feeling that if male circumcision didn't exist today, and someone tried to introduce it, they'd be arrested for child abuse.

But it's traditional role as a major rite of passage is too entrenched to bow to common sense or objective medical opinion."

Desmond Morris

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 stophazing.org, 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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Circumcision = Ritual Violence = Hazing

African Hazing


American Hazing

Islamic Hazing

Turkish Hazing

Jewish Hazing

Filipino Hazing

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Genital Cutting, Forbidden Senses and Forbidden Colours

Imagine if you made your child color-blind on purpose, you'd be accused of child abuse, wouldn't you?

Why would you do that? Why would you do that?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Male Genital Mutilation in Africa

So female genital mutilation (FGM) is this thing that hurts women, makes them incapable of enjoying sex, makes birth almost impossible, causes infections and deaths, right?

So why is it that African teenage boys have to die every year in a traditional ceremony, and nobody thinks it is mutilation?

May 12, 2013:

WITH just a week spent at the bush, at least over 15 boys have died at this year’s winter school and various police departments have launched investigations following the death of young boys who wanted to be men.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Colonel Jay Naicker said Marian hill police were investigating a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after more than eight boys between underwent circumcision.

“We can confirm an incident that occurred where more than eight boys between the ages of 13 and 15 were allegedly circumcised without their parent’s consent in Milkyway Road, Dassenhoek,”

 Colonel Leonard Hlathi, Mpumalanga police spokesperson said they were also investigating cases of inquest following the death of eight boys aged between 15 and 21, who died at the initiation schools around KwaMhlanga and Verena areas respectively.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

ACOG: OB/Gyn and circumcision - New Orleans 2013

ACOG Convention 2013 in New Orleans

OB/Gyn, Gyneco obstetrician
Studies female genitals,
Cuts babies' penises.

To: Intact America 
Subject: ACOG - ACM Intact America
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2013 3:40:51 PM 
Thanks for your time this afternoon. After carefully reviewing Intact America's 
application and accompanying materials, ACOG has made the decision to respectfully 
decline your application to exhibit based on the following.
The application merits a denial for the reasons that follow: 
1. Male circumcision is the primary focus of Intact America's educational materials 
and is only “indirectly related to women’s health” and “of only casual interest 
to members of ACOG.”
2. Intact America represents “a special advocacy group” and represents “a cause 
too narrowly focused on individual issues (or topics) to be of interest to ACOG 
We will place the application and check (#1382) in the mail to your attention. 
Additionally, we will remove Intact America from any future marketing correspondence. 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly. 

IF Male Circumcision is only of casual interest to members of ACOG, how come ACOG endorsed the AAP Policy Statement on Circumcision, and how come OB/Gyns perform such a large percentage of male circumcisions in the United States?

* Note, the AAP Technical Report on circumcision from August 2012 states: "The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this technical report. Pediatrics 2012;130: e756–e785". So, is it really "only of casual interest"?

Furthermore the Technical Report states that "the Task Force recommends that key professional organizations (AAP, ACOG, AAFP, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Nurse Midwives, and other entities supporting midlevel clinicians) work together to develop a consensus plan about which groups are best suited to perform circumcisions in newborn males; teach the procedure and analgesic techniques during postgraduate training programs; and develop standards of trainee proficiency". So, do you see how the money is flowing?

Let's be consistent people. Stop maiming boys' genitals.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Circumcision changes the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts - A response to the AAP

From the American Academy of Pediatrics "Task Force on Circumcision"'s response to "Cultural Bias and Circumcision":

"... the authors cite 5 studies to support the claim that “the foreskin is a richly innervated structure that protects the glans and plays an important role in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts.” Of these 5 studies, 4 were histologic studies that were not designed to correlate anatomic findings with physiologic or functional roles.4–7 Members of the task force appreciate that the foreskin has nerve fibers: the task force clearly recommends adequate pain control for infants undergoing circumcision. However, the task force did not move beyond what these studies actually reveal (the foreskin has nerve bundles and pain fibers, the foreskin contains Meissner corpuscles, the inner surface of the foreskin resembles a mucous membrane) to speculate about the effect that circumcision might have on sexual function or pleasure. [ ... ] In sum, of the 5 studies, not one sought to evaluate whether the foreskin protects the glans or whether it “plays an important role in the mechanical function of the penis during sexual acts.”"

The only reason someone can write that with a straight face is if they have not seen a foreskin in their lives except to cut it off.

I don't get tired of repeating it. Willful blindness does not negate the existence of facts. If the members of the task force on circumcision can't find the "mechanical function" of the foreskin, it's not because there is no evidence, but because they willfully refuse to acknowledge it.

When you are writing an important guideline that will be used by thousands of physicians, you cannot be excused by ignorance. If there is a question without an answer, it is your mission to find that answer.

Perhaps they should have looked at some explicit videos such as this one, by a man who is in the process of restoring his foreskin, and clearly explains here the mechanical function of the foreskin and its role in sexuality. That simple thing that the AAP could not find in any study.

But of course, acknowledging something like this would also imply acknowledging the thousands of men, if not millions, who are upset about having been circumcised when they were too young to consent... or to defend themselves!

Foreskin restoration - Mechanical function of the foreskin - XTube Explicit Video