…..and the Circumcision discourse continues

Is circumcision no longer recommended, let’s take another look, thanks to my avid reader Schifrah here is another point of view from the Huffington Post dealing with that and the HIV myth as written by Ali A. Rizvi. (click image or follow the links for the full take)

Previous posts on the subject from here:
Male circumcision no silver bullet …
Male Circumcision opposing views
Stephen Lewis : Male Circumcision & AIDS Prevention (FORATV)
Should men be circumcised (Gleaner article 2008)

Here is an excerpt from the Huffington Article:

This year, 1.2 million male babies in the United States will have between 35 and 50% of healthy, functioning penile skin — containing over 20,000 nerve endings and the five most sensitive areas of the penis — removed in a procedure that all of the major medical associations in the world, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society, have deemed medically unnecessary.
Overall, routine, non-therapeutic circumcision costs over $2 billion a year; in most states, it is still covered by Medicaid, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars to the taxpayer. Despite near-universal recommendations against performing it routinely, it is the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.

Having started among ancient Egyptians and ancient Semitic peoples as a religious sacrificial ritual, the practice didn’t take hold in Western societies until the late 1800s, when Western society was mired in masturbation-related hysteria. Dr. John Kellogg (yes, the Corn Flakes guy) was seminally (ahem) influential in the fight against what he called the “practice of solitary vice”, to prevent which he ardently recommended circumcision, writing:
“The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed.”

This recommendation was accepted and implemented widely for male children, likely buoyed by the belief that circumcision was, after all, part of Abraham’s covenant with God, who doesn’t really like dickheads. Because the application of phenol to a girl’s clitoris wasn’t part of this covenant, this second recommendation from Dr. Kellogg to prevent female masturbation — an “excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement” as he wrote in his book Plain Facts for Old and Young — wasn’t embraced as enthusiastically.


Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

One thought on “…..and the Circumcision discourse continues”

  1. Always happy to contribute to the discussion…as they say "nuff respect" for the service you are providing through these blogs. Keep up the good work.


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