Circumcision - Perhaps a good thing afterall?

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Screw it, we're having this discussion again, it's been almost six months since last time and I've never gotten to truly participate in it.
Anyway, here it goes: After reading through the Wikipedia-article, it seems that most evidence is stacked towards male-circumcision preventing diseases from spreading, reducing cancer, or in a similar fashion being beneficial.
The counter-argument usually runs that it violates the mans autonomy, that he should be able to chose himself when he comes of age, and that there is a slight chance to loss of tactile-experience around the gland of the penis, possible causing less than optimal future sexual encounters.
However, I can't help but to see an analogy with viral-inoculation and the like. We inoculate babies all the time, and these too come with a risk and reward. There is a slight chance of complication, but the reward in general is perceived to out-weigh the risk.
Still, others may argue that we are right in ignoring the autonomy of others when it comes to inoculations because if we did not, a disease might spread from the non-inoculated, which put others at risk, and not just yourself. You are therefor not the only one affected by your choice.
I, though, can see a similar response when it comes to circumcision, since there have been evidence to suggest that those circumcised have a lower odds of spreading HIV to others (which might not be so important in the West, but very much so in Africa).

Right now, I am unsure of my position.

Call me a troll if you will. But I've been told I last significantly longer in bed than "the rest of them".

Seems like a good enough argument for me.
image

In all seriousness there are some pretty good arguments for the medical use of circumcision on male babies; its perhaps one of the few forms of body modification that is (usually) good for you. If these reasons for it didn't exist it probably would have fallen out of popularity centuries ago, kinda like.. foot binding?

Of course I have been told there is an issue of the 'loss of sensitivity'. A legitimate concern perhaps. But still there are plenty of pros as you have noted.

Realitycrash:
it seems that most evidence is stacked towards male-circumcision preventing diseases from spreading, reducing cancer, or in a similar fashion being beneficial.

<...>

We inoculate babies all the time, and these too come with a risk and reward. There is a slight chance of complication, but the reward in general is perceived to out-weigh the risk.

I think I'd go with the response that being able to choose weighs more heavily in my book; in addition shouldn't the spread of HIV be combated with you-know, condoms rather than potentially decreasing risk through circumcision?

Why can't we just leave this up to the person in question when they are old enough to decide? HIV shouldn't be the deciding factor here (due to being an ineffective remedy), the article itself mentions that it's not an effective means against penile cancer and in the end we should be talking more about hygiene than about removing the foreskins from newborns.

People can get deathly ill at any age, there's a direct and demonstrable benefit to vaccinations. I don't think the aversion to circumcision has anything to do with an aversion to make medical decisions for children, it's about circumcision specifically.

I'm assuming this entire thread doesn't have anything to do with religious motivations, so I'm focusing entirely on the medical aspect.

Fraser Greenfield:
If these reasons for it didn't exist it probably would have fallen out of popularity centuries ago, kinda like.. foot binding?

Kind of like... female circumcision?

By the looks of things though the medical benefits of male circumcision are still very minor in developed countries. I reckon you could make an argument that the time and money spent getting a doctor to perform a circumcision outweighs its medical benefits.

So. Much. Text.

You know what would drastically lower chances of HIV infections and raise the quality of life without any bodily modification? Condoms.

You know what's better than cutting it off? Wearing a condom and keeping it clean. It's not hard (giggity).
Let the kid decide when he's old enough for it to matter.
See the relevant Penn and Teller episode, I'm sure it's on youtube.

I think the autonomy-argument trumps everything else, especially since - to my understanding and based on the papers and abstracts I've read on the topic - the hygiene and disease argumentation only applies in places with bad sanitation, i. e. places where regular showering and cleaning is an issue. It could have value when talking about, say, Subsaharan Africa - although I'd argue improving sex education and access to condoms is much more important and valuable there - but it doesn't really bear any weight in Western countries.

Was circumcised as a baby myself. Perfectly fine with what was done to me, as the medical knowledge at the time leaned towards health benefits, and my parents, both medical professionals, thought it would serve me best. As new evidence comes out, I would be fine with them regulating the procedure so that only those that choose to have it done to them, so long as the evidence didn't support it as overwhelmingly beneficial.

Realitycrash:
Screw it, we're having this discussion again, it's been almost six months since last time and I've never gotten to truly participate in it.
Anyway, here it goes: After reading through the Wikipedia-article, it seems that most evidence is stacked towards male-circumcision preventing diseases from spreading, reducing cancer, or in a similar fashion being beneficial.
The counter-argument usually runs that it violates the mans autonomy, that he should be able to chose himself when he comes of age, and that there is a slight chance to loss of tactile-experience around the gland of the penis, possible causing less than optimal future sexual encounters.
However, I can't help but to see an analogy with viral-inoculation and the like. We inoculate babies all the time, and these too come with a risk and reward. There is a slight chance of complication, but the reward in general is perceived to out-weigh the risk.
Still, others may argue that we are right in ignoring the autonomy of others when it comes to inoculations because if we did not, a disease might spread from the non-inoculated, which put others at risk, and not just yourself. You are therefor not the only one affected by your choice.
I, though, can see a similar response when it comes to circumcision, since there have been evidence to suggest that those circumcised have a lower odds of spreading HIV to others (which might not be so important in the West, but very much so in Africa).

Right now, I am unsure of my position.

The HIV crap is a lie, because if you actually read the studies they are done in Africa with low populations. Hell, Europe alone disproves much of the circumision "pros."

Cancer? Incredibly rare cancer, even more rare than male breast cancer.

Penis problems? Only 5% ever encounter them.

STDS and the like were rumors, and even then circumcision is NO excuse for not having a condom. Why is it that circumcising countries have the highest rates of STDs but uncut countries are low?

Vaccines have a clear documented benefit, not circumcision which is sketchy at best.

Hell, when you follow the trail of who keeps changing wikipedia and publishing circumcision propaganda it gets creepy as all hell.

http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Brian_J._Morris
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Gilgal_Society
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Jake_H._Waskett
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Robert_C._Bailey

The Gilgal society is a bunch of sadomasochists who take pleasure from cutting foreskins. They even go low enough to publish "erotic" stories of cutting minors. Some of these people work in the UN, and are in charge of spreading circumcision.

And funny enough, some of these people take time out of their day to keep changing wikipedia to show a circumcision bias.

The amount of time people invest to cutting genitals is creepy. Some of those people in that lists are friends convicted pedophiles who take sexual pleasure in circumcision. Its downright scary.

Skeleon:
I think the autonomy-argument trumps everything else, especially since - to my understanding and based on the papers and abstracts I've read on the topic - the hygiene and disease argumentation only applies in places with bad sanitation, i. e. places where regular showering and cleaning is an issue. It could have value when talking about, say, Subsaharan Africa - although I'd argue improving sex education and access to condoms is much more important and valuable there - but it doesn't really bear any weight in Western countries.

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

Ultratwinkie:

Snip

Sitting at a lecture right now, so don't have time to personally go through all the links, but: What do you know of the reported loss of sexual tactile-senses? I.e having your foreskin cut off makes you lose considerable "sensation", making it harder to orgasm?

Jux:
Was circumcised as a baby myself. Perfectly fine with what was done to me, as the medical knowledge at the time leaned towards health benefits, and my parents, both medical professionals, thought it would serve me best. As new evidence comes out, I would be fine with them regulating the procedure so that only those that choose to have it done to them, so long as the evidence didn't support it as overwhelmingly beneficial.

Above question applies to you too, if you feel comfortable enough answering it.

Realitycrash:

Skeleon:
I think the autonomy-argument trumps everything else, especially since - to my understanding and based on the papers and abstracts I've read on the topic - the hygiene and disease argumentation only applies in places with bad sanitation, i. e. places where regular showering and cleaning is an issue. It could have value when talking about, say, Subsaharan Africa - although I'd argue improving sex education and access to condoms is much more important and valuable there - but it doesn't really bear any weight in Western countries.

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

Ultratwinkie:

Snip

Sitting at a lecture right now, so don't have time to personally go through all the links, but: What do you know of the reported loss of sexual tactile-senses? I.e having your foreskin cut off makes you lose considerable "sensation", making it harder to orgasm?

Jux:
Was circumcised as a baby myself. Perfectly fine with what was done to me, as the medical knowledge at the time leaned towards health benefits, and my parents, both medical professionals, thought it would serve me best. As new evidence comes out, I would be fine with them regulating the procedure so that only those that choose to have it done to them, so long as the evidence didn't support it as overwhelmingly beneficial.

Above question applies to you too, if you feel comfortable enough answering it.

1. I read the loss depends on age and how developed the nerves are. No two sets of nerves are the same.

2. Vaccines are proven to help, circumcision hasn't and is in the same boat as healing crystals. The links I posted even showed that a researcher in the STD and HIV trail gave condoms to the cut men and gave them counseling.

The "circumcisions are like vaccines" analogy is a load of horse shit. When you look through the studies you find that out pretty quick. Especially when the only things circumcision treats are very rare.

Realitycrash:

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

Inoculation doesn't involve irreversible mutilation. Unlike inoculation circumcisons' benefits can be attained at much lower cost to the patient by proper sanitation and use of condoms. Your analogy doesn't stand.

TheMatsjo:

Fraser Greenfield:
If these reasons for it didn't exist it probably would have fallen out of popularity centuries ago, kinda like.. foot binding?

Kind of like... female circumcision?

Finally a guy who gets my satire!

St3rY:

Realitycrash:

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

Inoculation doesn't involve irreversible mutilation. Unlike inoculation circumcisons' benefits can be attained at much lower cost to the patient by proper sanitation and use of condoms. Your analogy doesn't stand.

Inoculation has rare side-effects. Polio-vaccination can have very serious side-effects, which might even lead to death

In fact, every vaccination has potentially severe side-effects, which might lead to death. Now, I am not saying that it happens often, or even rarely (it happens almost never), but it's still sufficient to call into question whether or not one should have it done to them.

@Realitycrash

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

The reason we don't vaccinate against smallpox anymore is because the risks of the vaccine outweigh the benefits. So even if I were to accept your analogy, I'd have to say I consider the risks and infringements of a circumcision to be more extensive than the benefit.
In medicine, it's almost always about a risk and/or costs versus benefit analysis. In such an analysis, circumcision doesn't fare particularly well.
It would be negligent to expose a child to those risks for small possible benefits. It would be negligent to expose a child to a dangerous vaccine with small possible benefits (whereass vaccinating against still common and dangerous ailments like measles would be the opposite).
Even when I fully accept your analogy as valid for this hypothetical, I don't think it helps circumcision's standing.

Realitycrash:

St3rY:

Realitycrash:

What's your stance on the inoculation-analogy then? Granted, side-effects are RARE, but they DO happen. So when said person grows up (if he does), he still has to live with the knowledge that had he been able to chose himself, he might not be suffering from said side-effects.

Inoculation doesn't involve irreversible mutilation. Unlike inoculation circumcisons' benefits can be attained at much lower cost to the patient by proper sanitation and use of condoms. Your analogy doesn't stand.

Inoculation has rare side-effects. Polio-vaccination can have very serious side-effects, which might even lead to death

In fact, every vaccination has potentially severe side-effects, which might lead to death. Now, I am not saying that it happens often, or even rarely (it happens almost never), but it's still sufficient to call into question whether or not one should have it done to them.

Circumcison has the "side effect" of mutilation 100% of the time. Again, the two are not comparable.

Realitycrash:

Inoculation has rare side-effects. Polio-vaccination can have very serious side-effects, which might even lead to death

In fact, every vaccination has potentially severe side-effects, which might lead to death. Now, I am not saying that it happens often, or even rarely (it happens almost never), but it's still sufficient to call into question whether or not one should have it done to them.

You torpedoed your own argument there by noting how are the complications can be, given you are comparing them to an inherent part of circumcision.

Realitycrash:

However, I can't help but to see an analogy with viral-inoculation and the like. We inoculate babies all the time, and these too come with a risk and reward. There is a slight chance of complication, but the reward in general is perceived to out-weigh the risk.

The difference is the effect of the procedure on the person who got it done. We'll assume nothing went wrong in both cases; are you physically aware that you were immunised?(i.e. can you point to a part of your body and say 'that mark was forced on me'?). Probably not because immunisation doesn't noticeably affect how your body looks.

People generally have no problem with being immunised as a child because it doesn't affect them in any way, having a part of your body chopped off can. I've read a few circumcision threads and for every person who is ok with the idea there is someone who isn't, is it fair to have forced them to permanently disfigure their bodies without asking them first?

It's sort of different but I know a girl who for some reason (can't remember why) had a thumb amputated as a baby and reattached as a big toe so she would be able to walk normally, she's fine with it and understands why her parents did it but what if she'd rather have had 2 normal hands? She could have felt violated that her parents made a decision that affects only her before she was able to decide for herself.

No matter the health benefits one of the big things in the West is the sanctity of your own body, you shouldn't be made to do something to your body that causes a disfigurement without your consent.

St3rY:

Realitycrash:

St3rY:

Inoculation doesn't involve irreversible mutilation. Unlike inoculation circumcisons' benefits can be attained at much lower cost to the patient by proper sanitation and use of condoms. Your analogy doesn't stand.

Inoculation has rare side-effects. Polio-vaccination can have very serious side-effects, which might even lead to death

In fact, every vaccination has potentially severe side-effects, which might lead to death. Now, I am not saying that it happens often, or even rarely (it happens almost never), but it's still sufficient to call into question whether or not one should have it done to them.

Circumcison has the "side effect" of mutilation 100% of the time. Again, the two are not comparable.

Knight Templar:

Realitycrash:

Inoculation has rare side-effects. Polio-vaccination can have very serious side-effects, which might even lead to death

In fact, every vaccination has potentially severe side-effects, which might lead to death. Now, I am not saying that it happens often, or even rarely (it happens almost never), but it's still sufficient to call into question whether or not one should have it done to them.

You torpedoed your own argument there by noting how are the complications can be, given you are comparing them to an inherent part of circumcision.

I'm fully aware it's a very small risk. It's not suppsoed to be a knock-down argument, but merely a question: If a procedure has a low risk of killing me or leaving me crippled, unless my life is actively at risk (I am dying RIGHT NOW), shouldn't I be the one to make that decision?

.

Realitycrash:

I'm fully aware it's a very small risk. It's not supposed to be a knock-down argument, but merely a question: If a procedure has a low risk of killing me or leaving me crippled, unless my life is actively at risk (I am dying RIGHT NOW), shouldn't I be the one to make that decision?

I suppose depends on what the risk of doing nothing is, relative to the risks of the procedure.

However you are moving away from circumcision here.

Realitycrash:

I'm fully aware it's a very small risk. It's not suppsoed to be a knock-down argument, but merely a question: If a procedure has a low risk of killing me or leaving me crippled, unless my life is actively at risk (I am dying RIGHT NOW), shouldn't I be the one to make that decision?

That's a rather vague (and off topic) question. Depends on the medical procedure, your (legal) capacity to make such decisions and a count of other circumstances (in case of an epidemic, for example, inoculation might be mandatory).

How is the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease even relevant to a conversation about whether children should be circumcised? If you need to circumcise a baby so that he doesn't get HIV then something is very, very wrong. By the time STDs become a concern he should be old enough to form his own opinion on the matter.

Ironically, couldn't everyone's favorite abortion slogan be modified slightly to sum this whole issue up: "His body, his choice"?

I mean, I know infant foreskins have uses in the medical and cosmetic industries, but still.

Just so y'all know I'm a circumcised male, medical procedure, was not asked, I think it was necessary due to it restricting the flow of urine from my penis..

As far as I'm aware a contraception is probably the best way to prevent the spread of HIV, well the second after abstinence but who wants that.

On the count of lessening sensitivity, surely its a good thing for males, should last a bit longer..

Okay serious now, I don't really have much of an opinion either way but what I don't agree with is forcing people to do or not do things against their will, so that means we can't force children to get cut and we can't force their parents not to get their children cut so...

Actually that wasn't very serious at all

Ultratwinkie:
Hell, when you follow the trail of who keeps changing wikipedia and publishing circumcision propaganda it gets creepy as all hell.

http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Brian_J._Morris
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Gilgal_Society
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Jake_H._Waskett
http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=Robert_C._Bailey

The Gilgal society is a bunch of sadomasochists who take pleasure from cutting foreskins. They even go low enough to publish "erotic" stories of cutting minors. Some of these people work in the UN, and are in charge of spreading circumcision.

And funny enough, some of these people take time out of their day to keep changing wikipedia to show a circumcision bias.

The amount of time people invest to cutting genitals is creepy. Some of those people in that lists are friends convicted pedophiles who take sexual pleasure in circumcision. Its downright scary.

Woah woah woah, that some creepy stuff right there. I have never heard of this Society but they're freaking me out already.
They'll even sell you a VHS tape depicting a circumcision, specifically mentioned as being unlabelled for your own discretion. If unlabelled VHS isn't the epitome of creepyness I don't know what is.

Realitycrash:
What do you know of the reported loss of sexual tactile-senses? I.e having your foreskin cut off makes you lose considerable "sensation", making it harder to orgasm?

Yeah, it totally does. No wait, it doesn't! Or does it? Aaaaaah, it's getting confusing!

As a woman, I feel like I shouldn't have a say in whether someone is going to be circumcised or not.

I say leave it up to the discretion of the person who is going would be circumcised otherwise. It's part of a man's body. It should be his choice. I am a big proponent of bodily autonomy.

I know most circumcisions happen shortly after birth, which complicates things. But, if there was any way to leave the choice to the male, I say do it.

Unless of course, there's something horribly life threatening wrong with the new born and it just happens that circumcision would save his life, then I say go at it.

But, otherwise, leave it to the man. Let him decide when he's old enough. I highly doubt anything so life threatening would occur so often.

Knight Templar:

Realitycrash:

I'm fully aware it's a very small risk. It's not supposed to be a knock-down argument, but merely a question: If a procedure has a low risk of killing me or leaving me crippled, unless my life is actively at risk (I am dying RIGHT NOW), shouldn't I be the one to make that decision?

I suppose depends on what the risk of doing nothing is, relative to the risks of the procedure.

However you are moving away from circumcision here.

I'm trying to show that we have different intuitions about autonomy when it comes to different procedures, thus I am addressing the autonomy argument. I think it's relevant for the discussion.

It does have medical benefits, but it's not the only surgical procedure that would *probably* do more good than bad. Removing a baby's tonsils, for example, might save them from tonsillitis in the future, but no one seems to care much about that.

I've been with two partners who've been circumcised (both due to medical problems when they were a kid - 4 years old and 8 years old - and this, like tonsil removal, seems perfectly reasonable to me?) and like someone already mentioned, the 'loss of sensitivity' thing may or may not be an issue depending on the person. In fact, with one of them they often commented that if they were any more sensitive, sex might actually be painful for them - and that was actually the case sometimes for a partner I had who wasn't circumcised, so, hey. The loss of sensitivity might even be a good thing for some people.

But yeah, still, unless it's to prevent a problem affecting the kid at the time, let a person decide when they're older if they'd want the medical benefits, surely? A(n adult) friend of mine recently decided to get it done, incidentally (again, to stop sex from hurting, but this time due to a tight foreskin rather than over-sensitivity).

As a transsexual I'm very very happy that circumcision is not the norm in Sweden. I need that foreskin for the surgery, it's pretty much the whole reason I'll have any sensitivity down there post-op. O.o

NOOOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!!

It's moments like now when I check the current events in R&P that I know that there is no God.

A circumcision thread in R&P?!? Somebody kill me now....

Want to know why I'm having this reaction? Circumcision is #3 on this Cracked.com article: 6 Innocent-Sounding Topics That Are Guaranteed Flame Wars.

Realitycrash:
Screw it, we're having this discussion again, it's been almost six months since last time and I've never gotten to truly participate in it.
Anyway, here it goes:

Less than 2 months, actually. You hate me, don't you? What did I ever do to you? :(

OT: I was circumcised and I'll have any boys I sire circumcised, too. Don't care what others think about it.

I-will-be-watching-this-thread-closely, people. If it degenerates into a flame war like the last one I'll shut it down before it becomes a ban-fest like the other one.

Realitycrash:

Knight Templar:

Realitycrash:

I'm fully aware it's a very small risk. It's not supposed to be a knock-down argument, but merely a question: If a procedure has a low risk of killing me or leaving me crippled, unless my life is actively at risk (I am dying RIGHT NOW), shouldn't I be the one to make that decision?

I suppose depends on what the risk of doing nothing is, relative to the risks of the procedure.

However you are moving away from circumcision here.

I'm trying to show that we have different intuitions about autonomy when it comes to different procedures, thus I am addressing the autonomy argument. I think it's relevant for the discussion.

We asses those situations differently because they are different in relevant ways that should impact how we make our decision. The question of autonomy comes in isolation, but also with consideration to things such as the value of the procedure and its costs. Skeleon has already shown how a single set of criteria, including the matter of autonomy can lead to different conclusions for different procedures, so I don't think I'm understanding your point.

Lord Kloo:
Just so y'all know I'm a circumcised male, medical procedure, was not asked, I think it was necessary due to it restricting the flow of urine from my penis..

As far as I'm aware a contraception is probably the best way to prevent the spread of HIV, well the second after abstinence but who wants that.

On the count of lessening sensitivity, surely its a good thing for males, should last a bit longer..

Okay serious now, I don't really have much of an opinion either way but what I don't agree with is forcing people to do or not do things against their will, so that means we can't force children to get cut and we can't force their parents not to get their children cut so...

Actually that wasn't very serious at all

I don't quite find the compulsory genital mutilation of children fit subject for humour.

Talking about the preventive medical or sexual benefits of this abhorrent procedure is akin to suggesting you amputate your arm to avoid transmission of germs shaking hands with someone. Only in the case of circumcision the benefits are not quite as clear.

Children are not part of the parents' body, nor are they the parents' property. The same way we "force" parents not to cut off earlobes or nose of children we can "force" them not to mutilate the genitalia.

ShiningAmber:
As a woman, I feel like I shouldn't have a say in whether someone is going to be circumcised or not.

I say leave it up to the discretion of the person who is going would be circumcised otherwise. It's part of a man's body. It should be his choice. I am a big proponent of bodily autonomy.

I know most circumcisions happen shortly after birth, which complicates things. But, if there was any way to leave the choice to the male, I say do it.

Unless of course, there's something horribly life threatening wrong with the new born and it just happens that circumcision would save his life, then I say go at it.

But, otherwise, leave it to the man. Let him decide when he's old enough. I highly doubt anything so life threatening would occur so often.

The issue is that waiting until they're older to preform the procedure can cause scarring and other permanent damage. The reason it's preformed on infants is because they can heal fully.

Three points.

1) (Non-religious) circumcision was initially popularized on the basis of extremely dodgy argumentation

The primary argument for circumcision at the time it became popular in America was that it prevented masturbation, which was thought to be extremely psychologically damaging and to lead to all kinds of perversions and abnormal sexual behaviors. Yeah, really. It was performed for exactly the same reasons that medical clitorodectomies were performed on certain women and girls around the same time.

No, I'm not kidding. Doctors published papers about how circumcising children was healthy because it would prevent them from masturbating (like it totally does!)

There was a slightly more legitimate argument that it prevented transmission of syphillis, which at the time was causing a massive moral panic, but the real argument here was about masturbation. The idea that circumcision was adopted because of clear medical benefits is pretty revisionist. It was adopted on the basis of claims which are both untrue and based on extremely defunct theories about human sexual development.

2) The benefits are highly debatable and not scientifically assured at this point

People have cited all kinds of weird and wonderful medical benefits to circumcision. While it's almost certain that there are some medical benefits, it's currently unclear whether these outweigh the medical risks of the procedure itself. Beyond the general fact that a circumcision is an open wound and the risk of a botched circumcision causing irreparable damage to the penis, it also increases the risk of certain types of infection and inflamation even in adulthood. It's as yet unclear whether there is a clear medical case for circumcision or not, or whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

Now, there are certain medical conditions where people need to be circumcised, of course, and I'm not talking about those. But for everyone else, the medical "benefits" are extremely far from assured at this point in time.

3) Arguments on both sides tend to be both emotionally-motivated and a bit creepy

As a culture, we tend to be slightly obsessed with penises. We have this annoying tendency to fixate on the relative virtues of people's penises, and to constantly ask ourselves who has the "best" penis (generally without bothering to ask or involve the people who actually like penises, because, you know, fuck what they think, they'll like what we tell them to!) We all want our penises to be the best penises ever and generally find the idea that other people's penises might be somehow better than our own at something to be upsetting.

There is actually a very easy way to enhance both your own sexual pleasure and that of your partner. Get a genital piercing. There's absolutely no point sitting here and debating the relative sexual merits of cut versus uncut penises because the differences, if they exist, are miniscule and can be easily compensated for with a very simple process that takes about a minute and costs about $100 from an experienced piercer.

What's that, you don't want to get a genital piercing because you're too squeamish or you don't like the look? Well that's fine, me too. However, the point is that we don't need to get so hung up on who has the "best" penis, not everyone has to have the "best" penis in order to have an enjoyable and mutually satisfying sex life. As a culture, we really need to lose this notion of an "ideal standard", particularly when it's primarily an invention of straight men who have absolutely no interest in cock anyway.

4) The female equivalent is illegal in a lot of countries.

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