Nice little piece on circumcision I came across by the writer Vincent Bach, whose other posts on the subject can be found here.
Think about it. What if when your mother was pregnant with you she
was openly contemplating the "pros and cons" of cutting off part of your
genitals? Doesn't the thought of that sound sort of weird, if not down
The only reason that you think you have a decision to make regarding
whether to have someone cut off part of your son's penis is because you
have been raised in a culture that does this. Bizarre, huh? Just why
in the heck do we Americans send our newborn babies down to another room
right after they are born, strap them down, lyse their prepuce from
their glans, put a clamp on it and crush it before finally cutting it
away? What possible reason would parents agree to allow some stranger
in a white coat to take a scalpel to our perfectly healthy children?
The answer? Sexual oppression followed by years of cultural habit.
Throw in a little selfish greed by the professionals profiting from this
multi-million dollar cottage industry and you have the makings for a
culture that feels they ought to cut off part of your precious newborn's
penis. You see, no one in this Country was circumcised except for the
Jews before the late 19th century. George Washington and Abe Lincoln
were not circumcised and none of their non-Jewish peers were either.
Why that changed is a pretty remarkable story actually. Some doctors
just after the time of the Civil War actually convinced a Puritanical
American population that if you cut most of the skin off a penis (i.e.
circumcision), little boys will no longer be able to masturbate.
Masturbation at the time was thought to be a dreadful sin and was even
thought by many to cause a host of other illnesses. So if masturbation
could be discouraged, the theory went, it MUST be. Of course, now we
know that circumcision doesn't actually prevent masturbation, it only
makes men have to work harder at it.
Unfortunately, by the time we figured out that masturbation wasn't
all that harmful and even if it was it still isn't prevented by slicing
the foreskin off a penis, circumcision had already become a cultural
habit associated with class distinction. Now fathers wanted their sons
to be circumcised because they were. Only the lower class heathens were
left uncut. Eventually, not wanting to be left out, the lower
socio-economic classes began demanding it for their sons as well. And
so it continues...
Eventually by the 1960s, some ethicists began to question the
practice and as a result EVERY professional medical organization in the
world has finally come to publicly admit that circumcision of newborn
boys is NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY and many of the more ethical ones have
come to publicly condemn the practice. Cultures don't change overnight.
There are vested interests at stake and those vested interests are
also working hard to fool you into thinking that circumcision has
medical benefits. Rest assured, the only medical benefit of
circumcision is to fatten the pockets of those medical professionals who
gleefully encourage and participate in the practice.
Do your son a favor and think about his rights as a human being. You
know, those inalienable ones that you and I take for granted. If he
someday wants to tattoo his heiny, pierce his nipples or God forbid cut
off part of his penis, that will be his right. But maybe he won't be
concerned with the masturbation hysteria of the 19th century. Maybe if
you could ask him he would say, "YOU WANT TO CUT OFF WHAT?!?!?!!?"
I know that's what I'd say.