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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Circumcision is barbaric (Page 10)

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Author Topic: Circumcision is barbaric
KirKis
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I've been reading posts here and there, and I felt like I had to say something to this.

I was snipped when I was a baby. I don't remember the pain or the experience.

I have a daughter, but if I ever have a son he will also be snipped in his infancy.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
...if I ever have a son he will also be snipped in his infancy.
Why?
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Synesthesia
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I wish you'd reconsider.
Fact is, it's not any cleaner, folks who are circumcised still have to wash their bits. Infections can be prevented by by not retracting.
80% of the world doesn't bother with it and most importantly
IT HURTS!
At least with Bris Milah, the baby is surrounded by family. With a hospital circumcision the baby is strapped down and has his foreskin peeled off and cut! With hardly any anesthesia.
I don't know how anyone can know how this is done and still want it done to their son. Who cares if he won't remember it. Fact is, it hurts. If you don't have at least a religious reason for it, why bother? I didn't even know about this, but when I found out they strap the kid down and do this, I thought, oh, hell to the no. No way.
No one is going to make skin cream out of my future son's foreskin.

At least look up a video about it before you decide.

I like Sears so much http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/pregnancy-childbirth/whether-or-not-circumcise

But, seriously, if there's one thing people must get from all of my emotional ranting is do research before you have this done because, as much as some folks down play it, this could affect your son for life.

Also, if there's one thing that should convince people not to get it done is the possibility of a doctor's hand slipping. You don't get that sort of risk if it just doesn't get done at all!

[ June 27, 2011, 10:01 AM: Message edited by: Synesthesia ]

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Who cares if he won't remember it. Fact is, it hurts.
You are incorrect. I have told you again and again, my son did not suffer, he slept peacefully through his circumcision. He actually enjoyed up til he fell asleep because of the sugar syrup on a pacifier they gave him.

Considering that your emotion turmoil is based on causing babies pain I would think that first hand knowledge of the complete lack of pain would be something you might pay attention to, but apparently not.

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Synesthesia
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Here's the thing, dude, sugar syrup isn't a pain relief medicine. They say the baby sleeps through it, but the kid could be passing out from the pain according to some sources.
One said the baby was knocked out for 8 hours because he went inward from it.
And even if it doesn't hurt at all, which I find hard to believe considering where they are cutting, it still isn't right to not let him make that decision when he grows up.

http://nymag.com/health/features/60144/ trying to find non anti-circ sources.

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/circumcision-study-ends-early-due-to.html

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/mri-studies-brain-permanently-altered.html

Furthermore, I'm not even sure how people can watch videos of this being done or see it being done and NOT think that that baby is hurting! [Confused]

[ June 27, 2011, 11:26 AM: Message edited by: Synesthesia ]

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Samprimary
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It hurts, but I consider this fact probably one of the most irrelevant arguments against circumcision.

Vaccinations hurt, and anti-vac idiots drop this one into the whole general field of malarkey when they try to insist that you shouldn't vaccinate your child.

Want a real argument against circumcision? Try (a) pinning down some pretty reliable evidence that being circumcised lowers sexual pleasure overall, and (b) point out how there's no real compelling argument for keeping circumcision as a cultural practice, and most of what you'll get is a bunch of people who can't muster an argument that goes beyond 'my god says so,' which is pretty much the most ignorable drama in this whole mess of a 'debate,' assuming you're talking about the direction in logic and compelling directive a secular government should take.

However, Synesthesia, when you amp up the argument to saying that circumcision should be b& forever no matter what no takebacks, you have to justify that kind of intrusion on the rights of parents to perform the procedure on their child. Maybe it's a little risky and dumb considering that there's pretty much literally no real reason to do it for people who don't have something legitimately physically wrong with their weiner, but parents have the commonly abused authority to do things many, many times more stupid with their children, and which can be much more easily and noncontroversially described as 'horrid.' They can, for instance, not vaccinate their children and break down herd immunity in their school district and cause outbreaks of pertussis, some cases of which are permanently crippling. They can send their kids to ghoulish, gulag-like 're-education' camps at a whim, for any reason, even just the suspicion of gayness and the need to be set straight. There's a whole laundry list. A case for banning it outright has to go beyond individual sensitivity and emotional response to the act and give a real, real serious indication as to why it absolutely needs a big, governmental fist coming in and causing consternation and outrage and demands by religious groups that they get specific exemption because God/Shiva/Ahura/FSM says it's not optional for their special little darlings.

Why not skip all that? The 'debate' is dumb to begin with, and this thread is kind of a microcosm as to why. Work on the long arc. Don't flip out and go nuts just feeling horrible about the poor little babies. Don't be part of the crowd that patronizes the circumcised and tells them that they have mutilated broken penises, (sniff, sob, etc, if only your parents weren't allowed to be so barbaric). Don't chastise parents' decisions as wholly and monumentally unjust. Just work on the acclimatization of society to uncut penises. Once you've got as many uncircumcised penises as circumcised penises being lovingly, uh, 'attended' to in porn, you're set. The rest works itself out.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I've said multiple times in this thread that my son received local anesthetic, and that I triple checked he was getting before I let anyone even touch his winky. My point with the sugar syrup was that he was not suffering any pain at all. Not having babies yourself I guess you wouldn't know, but they will tell you in no uncertain terms if they are suffering even mild discomfort, by crying very loudly and enthusiastically. He did not pass out in pain, he fell asleep. You can tell the difference, trust me.

I'm not saying that some babies who didn't get a numbing agent didn't pass out. I am hugely against doing anything really painful to a baby without painkiller.

When my children are going to get shots, we give them acetaminophen fifteen minutes before they get the shots.

It seems to me, you are so busy being up in arms and looking for evidence to support your feelings, you are not listening.

My son (and I'd imagine by extrapolation, most modern circumcisions) did not suffer at all.

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Synesthesia
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I would hope that would have eventually, but there's so many misconceptions about intact penises and such in our culture it's ridiculous.

I don't even know why I should have to argue about it. It should be kind of... well.. obvious that it isn't right to do this...

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Stone_Wolf_
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[mockery] I just wish oh wish oh wish that everyone would be so kind and loving and not ever hurt anyone else, and that everyone would see the world as I do, and not have a differing view point, because I can't seem to understand anyone else's point of view, oh wish oh wish oh wish I may! [/mockery]
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Rakeesh
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Then by all means, let that be the primary substance of your argument, Synesthesia-"It's just wrong, the babies are suffering, even if you don't think they're suffering because it's SO WRONG!"

I say that's the primary substance of your argument because when people rebut or even address the few sources you actually use (case in point, mortality rates), you either completely ignore it or respond with, "Why are we talking about this?! It's so wrong!"

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Synesthesia
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OK, But it's not really a bad way to be though, at least the not wanting to inflict pain on people they don't need thing.

I do try to understand other people's points of view, but when it comes to stuff like this, well, there's the baby's point of view to consider. I really just don't see the point of doing this if it's something that really doesn't need to be done.

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Geraine
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I would hope that would have eventually, but there's so many misconceptions about intact penises and such in our culture it's ridiculous.

I don't even know why I should have to argue about it. It should be kind of... well.. obvious that it isn't right to do this...

Goodness, we get it, you don't have to repeat the same mantra a thousand times. We understand why you don't like it. Samprimary told you how you could go about it, and I agree with him.

There are some health benefits to getting cut, and infancy is the best time to do it. They will not remember the procedure. If you choose not to get it done for your child then fine.

As for 100 children dying each year due to the procedure, that is unfortunate. If in fact it does help to prevent the spread of HIV however, I would be interested to know how many lives have been potentially saved by the procedure. It is too bad it would be almost impossible to ever find those types of numbers.

Syn, would circumcision be ok with you if someone could show you the number of lives that had been saved due to it preventing the spread of HIV? (If it does in fact helps prevent it. I'm not entirely convinced)

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CT
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As a side note of clarification (I am doing this primarily for those who may be reading as lurkers, BTW, as I expect it isn't as relevant to the ongoing discussion):

Sugar syrup in newborn babies has been well-studied for pain control. It definitely has a significant effect, and this is though to occur through affecting the naturally produced opiods in the developing nervous system.

In those studies there were many objective measures used for assessing pain levels. One of the simplest is vital sign measurement: heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Even in the newest of newborns, there is always a response to pain. The heart rate and blood pressure change. This is seen over and over in surgeries (and it is how anesthesiologists know when to titrate the medication they are giving -- when the vital signs change in certain ways, the patient needs more anesthesia -- and this is true, again, for the newest of newborns just as much as for adults). There are other systematic, objective ways of assessing pain in newborns as well, and these are used along with vital signs.

So we know that sugar syrup helps, we have a good idea of how it helps, and we can use it as one item in a full palette of ways to control pain.

This is a systematic review from 2004, assessing 21 different studies of pain control in neonates using sugar water. There has been much more evidence gathered in the 7 years since then, and it only reinforcing the finding that it is useful for pain control in this age group.

If it would make a difference to see additional studies, I will dig them up.

---

Also on a side note (likely relevant to lurkers moreso than the ongoing discussion but that's okay):

On the internet, you can always find singular examples of things done badly. That may be a video someone made of [him- or herself] singing the Star-Spangled Banner off-key, or it may be a video of Fred Phelps picketing a soldier's funeral, or it may be a YouTube rant about someone's personal theory that drinking enough CocaCola will cure cancer.

That does not mean that there are no beautiful on-key renditions of the national anthem.

That does not mean there are no respectful and welcomed attendees to a soldier's funeral.

And it does not mean that there are no effective treatments for some cancers.

This is important: it just means that the person in that video is doing it wrong.

[ June 27, 2011, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: CT ]

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
As for 100 children dying each year due to the procedure, that is unfortunate. If in fact it does help to prevent the spread of HIV however, I would be interested to know how many lives have been potentially saved by the procedure. It is too bad it would be almost impossible to ever find those types of numbers.

You might want to do some further checking on that "100" too, by the way. See above. [Smile]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
I would hope that would have eventually, but there's so many misconceptions about intact penises and such in our culture it's ridiculous.

Welcome to culture. It's ridiculous. Often depressingly so. But there's still an arc, and as long as we have some semblance of stability and modern progress, we tend to slowly shed the sillier and/or more harmful habits of our past. Even if you think that circumcision is wrong in every way, the 'intactivist' approach is the best way to, you know, not accomplish anything positive.
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Fishtail
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CT, this lurker finds the info you have provided above to be VERY informative! Thank you!
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AchillesHeel
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You do exist! I knew lurkers were real, I never stopped believing.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
OK, But it's not really a bad way to be though, at least the not wanting to inflict pain on people they don't need thing.

I do try to understand other people's points of view, but when it comes to stuff like this, well, there's the baby's point of view to consider. I really just don't see the point of doing this if it's something that really doesn't need to be done.

Not responding to direct challenges or observations about some of your flawed or at best dubious backing for your overall opinion?

Not, that actually *is* a bad thing to do. It makes your position much easier to dismiss out of hand-and you as well. Which is pretty counterproductive or should be, given how important you think the matter is.

Also...I realize you *think* you're trying to understand other people's PoV, but you're not really showing much evidence of it, given that passionate outcries and claims of trying to understand isn't actually evidence of doing so.

Case in point again: "Sugar syrup isn't anesthetic!!!!!! Babies babies hurting babies OMG!"

"Well in fact, sugar syrup in this case has been shown to have pain relief properties..."

"Yes but they're MAIMING BABIES!"

(This last is a projection of your likely response, if the pattern holds.) Anyway, what you're doing is useful if your intent is to showcase how awful you think the practice is. As a tool for persuasion, though, it's not just non-beneficial, it's actually *harmful*. Your rhetoric, if it could be said to have any impact on someone deciding to circumcise their child (and this is pretty unlikely for any here, even actual medical experts, people not generally using Internet forum thoughts as input for this kind of thing), would make it *more* likely someone would circumcise since you're speaking so hysterically in opposition.

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Lisa
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(Post removed by Janitor Blade, TOS violation)

[ June 28, 2011, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: JanitorBlade ]

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Fishtail:
CT, this lurker finds the info you have provided above to be VERY informative! Thank you!

Fabulous! What a kindness of you to let me know explicitly. [Smile]

Here is the plain-language version of that abstract, republished by the Cochrane Review in 2010. The Cochrane group of reviews is the gold standard for making sense of multiple studies on a given topic.

For more information on ways to reduce pain for newborns, there is a great document from 2001 entitled New Guidelines for Management of Neonatal Pain by the International Evidence-Based Group for Neonatal Pain. The guidelines aren't so new anymore, but they remain good. Some avenues:

quote:
•Environmental — reducing light and noise surrounding the baby, allowing enough time for rest between medical procedures.

•Behavioural — swaddling the baby and the use of sugar-dipped pacifiers.

•Pharmacologic — appropriate use of anesthetics.

Breastfeeding during pain also helps, though the higher concentration of sugar in the glucose syrup seemed to have more of an immediate effect on the opiod receptors. But certainly for more long-lasting pain, such as recovering from an ear infection, a mother can feel really good about the extra things she can do for her baby by breastfeeding. I suspect bottlefeeding also helps, as just plain skin-to-skin contact has been shown to decrease the pain scale ratings.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
quote:
Who cares if he won't remember it. Fact is, it hurts.
You are incorrect. I have told you again and again, my son did not suffer, he slept peacefully through his circumcision. He actually enjoyed up til he fell asleep because of the sugar syrup on a pacifier they gave him.

Considering that your emotion turmoil is based on causing babies pain I would think that first hand knowledge of the complete lack of pain would be something you might pay attention to, but apparently not.

She isn't listening. You might as well try and explain to the looney general in Dr. Strangelove that they aren't really after our precious bodily fluids. Paranoia and hysteria are paranoia and hysteria.
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CT
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As yet another side note, my understanding is that many mohels (who perform circumcisions for Jewish religious reasons) have long incorporated the pain control methods above. They may dab sweet wine on the newborn's lips, and the baby is held by someone in a comforting way.
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TomDavidson
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To be fair, Lisa, complaining that someone is irrationally fixated on an ideological point that is blinding her to reasonable positions on a given topic is not something that I think you can do from a position of secure authority. [Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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I disagree Tom...I think Lisa is an authority on being irrationally fixated on an ideological point which blinds her to reasonable positions.

Well, maybe not "authority", how about "experienced"?

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I disagree Tom...I think Lisa is an authority on being irrationally fixated on an ideological point which blinds her to reasonable positions.

Well, maybe not "authority", how about "experienced"?

Really. Did you honestly not understand what Tom was saying?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Oh, and speaking as a nonlurker CT...your posts in this thread have always been, reasonable, informative, and very helpful.


Cyn...something you might not realize that you are indirectly accusing many parents of posters, and many posters as parents of wrong doing.

I am open to new information with regards to how I'm raising my children, and even new information which means I have caused them harm unintentionally. But you are not offering new information. You seem to be posting site links which agree with your opinion (and little science backing) and lots of emotional filibustering.

I don't think anyone here questions your heart. Where I get rubbed the wrong way is that this is not a blog to rail against the world, this is a place for discussion, and no meaningful discussion can take place if you do not address the comments others post.

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Synesthesia
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http://www.plasmetic.com/skin/skin-care-cosmetics/foreskin-face-cream-from-skinmedica-promoted-by-oprah-winfrey.html

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/146761/human_foreskins_are_big_business_for_pg2.html?cat=69

http://citizen-40.tressugar.com/Know-Whats-Your-Skin-Cream-11907042

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CT
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Oh, and speaking as a nonlurker CT...your posts in this thread have always been, reasonable, informative, and very helpful.

Why, thank you! [Smile]
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Frisco
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From Syn's first link:

quote:
h. One foreskin can cost as much as $100,000 and to buy foreskin fibroblasts offered by The Coriell Institute for $85 - click here
Was your goal in this thread to encourage Amateur Home Circumcision? How else can we keep that evil doctor off our valuable skin flaps?!
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Synesthesia
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I did not think of that. Amateur home circumcision is not a good idea.
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Parkour
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Is there someone I can sell my valuable skin flaps to? They would pay for the circumcision too of course.
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Lisa
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Amateur home circumcision.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
When you use the term 'shallow' in this context do you attempt to divorce it from its negative connotations or do you feel that such decisions are not only shallow technically but also represent a person of poor character?

Hmmm, missed this.
Being shallow obviously isn't a good thing, but neither do I think its as critical a flaw as has been implied by some others (i.e. the connotation of bimbo).

Probably not a very interesting answer, I'm afraid.

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Stone_Wolf_
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You are so right Mucus, I agree with you 100%, that wasn't a very interesting answer. [Wink]
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KirKis
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So many responses since last I looked at this thread.

@TomDavidson - So he won't remember it, of course. If I waited for him to decide when he was 18, i'm sure he would never forget it in his life. I would even be afraid to do it... I'm thankful that I got it over with when I was a baby.

I would prefer the method that Stone_Wolf's son had of course. I don't want my child to be in too much pain. Though it is something that, if at all, should be done in infancy.

I can imagine that actually being born from my mother's womb must have been awefully painful. I would hate for people to argue "since it must be really painful to the baby that it should stop."

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Foust
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I think Tom's question was about why you would snip your kid in the first place, not necessarily about when you'd do it.
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Synesthesia
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I have to point out that even if they don't remember it, it doesn't mean the pain doesn't affect their brain. When babies are stressed out it releases cortisol. Really, if they don't need to have it done, don't bother with it.

Also, I must continue to wonder why I am being mocked over my strong desire to prevent babies from unnecessary pain. It's bad enough you have natural pains like teething and such. And the world is waiting to shoot arrows at everyone. Why give them a pain they don't even need to have anyway? People in the US act like you HAVE to circumcise. Like it's a MUST. Like you just HAVE TO DO IT AND THERE'S NO CHOICE but really there's not much of a decision to make. You just don't bother with it. Folks get by just find with anteaters.

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Stone_Wolf_
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You're being mocked because you refuse to listen to people, oh, and because you repeat yourself endlessly, and do not address what people say, and tell people what to do, and use CAPS WHENEVER YOU GET EMOTIONAL about repeating whatever you feel the world thinks (even though no one here is saying that) and did I mention you don't listen to anyone also you repeat yourself ENDLESSLY and rail at how much this country has misconceptions and how horrible it is and how we keep hurting babies DOWN THERE and there just is no reason to do it, you don't understand why people just don't stop, even though EVERYONE HAS TOLD YOU AT LEAST TWICE and also you tend to say the same thing over and over.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I must continue to wonder why I am being mocked over my strong desire to prevent babies from unnecessary pain.
It's because you're coming off like a somewhat hysterical wilting flower, and because it is totally not a big deal compared to pretty much everything else you could be upset about.
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Rakeesh
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Let's see if *this* will be addressed in ways that several direct challenges and observations weren't:
quote:
People in the US act like you HAVE to circumcise. Like it's a MUST. Like you just HAVE TO DO IT AND THERE'S NO CHOICE but really there's not much of a decision to make.
Well, *some* people do. Something near *less than half* of the people in the USA do, in fact. This has been pointed out repeatedly, but don't let that-or anything-stop you from getting hysterical and ignoring stuff that's inconvenient.
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Synesthesia
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80% of people in the world don't do it. Maybe we should catch up. I know I'm sounding overly emotional, but look at the baby's perspective in this. It's kind of part of a bigger picture, really, when it comes to babies and treating them with compassion from the very start.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
look at the baby's perspective in this
Aaaah! Syn is right! This is horrible! This is the worst thing that's ever happened to anybody! I'm going to die!

*burp*

Ah, that's better. Where's my giant milk person?

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The Rabbit
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CT, Thanks for the links. I was surprised to see how much evidence there is that circumcision reduces the spread of STDs. Its still not nearly as effective as a condom or life long monogamy, but interesting none the less. If the spread of AIDS could really be cut in half in Africa by circumcising all male babies, it would certainly be worth it in my opinion.

Of course, nothing is ever that simple with human beings. Unfortunately, whenever we do one thing to make people safer, they compensate by engaging in generally riskier behavior. I don't know how much that's true for STDs, but its certainly true for traffic collisions.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Syn,

You are again implying (down right saying?) that to circumcise is to treat babies without compassion.

You are accusing a lot of caring and thoughtful people (I include myself in that number) of treating our children without compassion, implying that we are missing the big picture, that we did not look at this issue from the point of view of our children.

I know to you it seems like a simple matter, [cut + baby + penis = ouch] but life is not that simple, and neither is being a good parent. If you are simply unwilling/unable to see this issue (which I am starting to accept) as anything but that simple equation, let me know, and I'll stop wasting my valuable time trying to discuss this with you.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Synesthesia:
80% of people in the world don't do it. Maybe we should catch up. I know I'm sounding overly emotional, but look at the baby's perspective in this. It's kind of part of a bigger picture, really, when it comes to babies and treating them with compassion from the very start.

Ok, well it's quite clear to me now: this issue is *so important* you don't have to have an honest discussion about it. Many times now you've been shown things that either weaken or outright contradict the claims and rhetoric you're making, but repeatedly you've just ignored or brushed it aside.

Just because it's important doesn't entitle you a fanatic's dishonest style, Synesthesia.

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KirKis
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The baby's perspective... for a short while the baby is very unhappy, possibly in some pain... ... then over it. The part of the brain that forms and retains memory isn't quite there yet. The baby will soon forget and act as if it never happened.

If the baby can forgive and forget, why can't you?

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Synesthesia
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I'm not sure I'm wrong about this and I don't think I'm a looney or delusional or any of that stuff.
Sure, I come off as over emotional, but what can I say? I have hyper empathy. Even if you don't remember the first few years of your life, they shape you because that's when your brain is developing.
So, why should a baby experience even a few minutes of pain if it's just not needed? Why can't that boy be in his mother and father's arms instead of lying on some circumstraint getting part of his body cut? Who cares if he can't remember it. Fact is, it's just not needed anymore when we have soap, water and condoms. So I'm going to keep arguing against this, just as I will keep arguing against spanking and things like that.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I have hyper empathy.
No, you don't. You want to.
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Stone_Wolf_
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When my son got his first bath, on his first day, the nurses were not comforting him, and I went to do it, since he was crying. They told me it was good for him to get all the fluid off his lungs to cry and cry hard that time.

I don't think you are crazy for caring about babies, I think your not engaging in discussion here and justifying your bad tactics with moral self congratulations vs imaginary mustache twirling villains, and I'm afraid your black and white kindergarten moralities are too basic to actually do any good in the real world.

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scifibum
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I think it's fine to argue against it, Synesthesia. What people keep pointing out to you - and you are fairly consistently ignoring - is that when you use questionable or false facts to argue with, and don't acknowledge when this is pointed out, it undermines your cause.

Along the same lines, when you ignore or distort counterpoints instead of addressing them, it undermines your cause.

Right now you're sort of the PETA of circumcisions.

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