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Thoughts on circumcision

Inexorable Username

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So, I'm curious to know what the men in the community think about circumcision.

This has come to my attention because I recently had a discussion with someone who felt like the practice of male circumcision is a brutal exercise that is "swept under the rug" because males don't "count" in todays conversations regarding gender rights, and similar.

I do agree that male circumcision is a barbaric practice that we should be moving away from. I think it is possible (likely, even) that circumcision had practical applications in the past when sanitation and hygiene were more of an issue and men were put into situations where hygiene was difficult to maintain. (Going to war, for instance). However, it seems to me, that in modern society, this practice is really outdated and unnecessary. Furthermore, it can be very traumatic for parents. My sister, for instance, felt very pressured to have her son circumcised, and was extremely upset when she was caught off guard by how gory and distressing the procedure was (as she had been told that it was a simple thing).

All of this being said, I've ALSO spoken to men before regarding how they feel about this practice and their...configuration. The males I've spoken to expressed gratitude for their parents decision because, according to them, having an uncircumcised penis is something they believe other males would have teased them for, and they feel that there is a public sentiment that the uncircumcised penis is a dirty thing. They've also said that they would worry about exposing themselves to females who have never seen an intact penis, and this would cause them to suffer quite a bit of self-consciousness. I've also come across a couple of young males discussing getting this procedure at their later age, and regretting the fact that their parents hadn't performed it at birth.

So. Here is the thing. On the one hand, I think this practice is pretty barbaric and we shouldn't be cropping penises. We don't appreciate cropping puppy ears and puppy tails, and declawing cats, so why not apply this same compassionate mentality to our human babies? I think that the opinion that this act helps a person to avoid medical complications is...frankly, low key offensive. As if a guy can't clean his bits? And what kind of parent takes a look at their kid and is like "Yeah...that...is going to take a lot of 'cleaning'. Just go ahead and cut it off." (Obviously, I know this isn't what parents are thinking. I'm just humorously rephrasing the issue). I DO think its a conversation that people should feel comfortable having, because I don't like to think that men feel like they can't express their feelings on this subject. I find, in general, that guys are rather dick-conscious. We should respect that and help guys to feel more open about sharing their emotions regarding the subject.

On the other hand...men, themselves, have sort of voiced the opinion to me that this is a harmless operation that is "no big deal", and that going against the grain would be psychologically more devastating to them.

Not being a man myself, it's hard to me to analyze this discrepancy. So - men of INTPf, could you share your feelings on the subject?
 

nanook

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in my view the conformist argument is off the table, because its conformist. but you can't explain that to a conformist. takes both integralism and stubbornness.

since conformists will do a cost benefit analysis, the inherent (clearly negative) value of circumcision can't possibly outweigh the positive value of its current reputation.

the only way to make a difference here is to change the reputation.

this isn't really difficult to do, but you can't exactly do it yourself.

its something that the media can do in a single year of repeatedly saying that circumcision is a bad thing. conformists adopt that opinion, when its frequent and public enough to seem like the reputation. only some churchgoers may not accept the authority of the media.

in germany the media says that paper masks dont really protect against corona. its not true. but the country is ashamed to admit that it was a mistake, that we do not have enough masks. we actually sold a bunch to china, lol. so they lie about it. say the masks are no good. say they only protect others. and everyone believes it. people who have masks at home, dont dare to wear them. fear that everyone will think they are infected. this is conformism. just two weeks of it, everyone has seen about 5 youtube clips repeating the false claim that masks are no good.

bro, if a woman can see your foreskin, you ain't hard enough.
detox those arteries or quit drinking.
 

Ex-User (14663)

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I'm reading now that something like 90% of men in US are circumcised, that's a pretty big surprise to me. In europe circumcision would be an exception.

I got my p-noose circumsized in my early 20s due to a slightly tight foreskin (or too big dick, depending on how you view it). If it weren't for that situation I would clearly prefer to keep the foreskin, because there's absolutely no advantage to cutting it off. The arguments about cleanliness are complete nonsense – for people who take regular showers it will make zero difference. And there are downsides, especially risks of various complications. In some cases those complications have permanent effects. So in case of babies getting circumcised, it is the baby taking all the risk (literally having skin in the game) for someone else's decision.

in terms of social aspects, women seem not to notice the difference between the two, and I dunno how often most men showcase their peen in front of other men, so I don't really see the problem.
 

Elen

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I did not circumcise my male child. I figured the whole "dirty" argument was bullshit and a stand in for the incorrect idea that men are simply dirtier than women. Teach your children to wash. It can't be more complicated than keeping your vag clean.

As a woman, I know that if I am attracted enough to get sexy with a man then I might approach his uncircumcised penis with curiosity but not revulsion. I figure most women are like me and if they were to suddenly be turned off by an uncircumcised penis then they probably aren't worth having sex with.

There is a LOT of pressure and fear mongering to circumcise your male children in the USA and I can understand how new parents might be scared into doing it but I'm comfortable with telling the established norms and the folks who uphold them to shove off.

Ultimately, it is such a personal decision I felt it wasn't my place to make it for my son. He can decide for himself when he is older.
 

washti

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How this got so popular in US? Is this jewish/muslim culture influence?
What next removing appendix after birth?
Wtf even.
 

peoplesuck

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I dont see much of a point. I think it would be quite unhealthy for infants to have a piece of their skin removed. (stress hormones and such)
uncircumcised dicks look a bit gross, but maybe better for sex, for both parties.
seems like there would be risks involved, even if its only slight, why take them?
It has to have some effect on the children, like a very minor form of physical abuse.
Id rather not have foreskin, simply because its just more to mess with... but im weird and really dont even want a dick in the first place...
Id sacrifice having a dick, for being able to sit with my legs together, or wear slim pants without any discomfort or visible ...dick outlines...
those pesky dick outlines
:cat:
 

nanook

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lol, i go back and forth between wanting a really big dick and no genitalia at all. anything in between is not worth the trouble, so either possibility would be a solution to the feeling of insufficiency. plain old shizoid logic.
 

peoplesuck

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lol, i go back and forth between wanting a really big dick and no genitalia at all. anything in between is not worth the trouble, so either possibility would be a solution to the feeling of insufficiency. plain old shizoid logic.
yeah :/
part of it is the complete lack of desire for sexual experiences, for the sake of sexual experiences.
its sort of just there, but I suppose its handy for taking a piss outside, when its cold. unfortunately, I dont find that outweighing the downsides. I personally wouldnt want a big dick, it would only worsen the situation.
just remove it all and avoid everyone :D
 

Cognisant

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I have my foreskin, it was tight at first but that solved itself soon enough, I do need to be mindful to clean it but that's just pulling back the skin and giving it a rinse. The good thing about a foreskin is that it captures pre-cum so if I get aroused by making out I'm not going to have a wet spot in my underwear. On the other hand it can fall forwards during sex if I'm anything less than full mast, that is somewhat annoying because I lose sensitivity but it that in turn means I can last longer so it's more of a trade-off.

Conducting unnecessary surgical procedures on infants is child abuse. Duh.

I think the whole circumcision thing started as a way for Jews to be able to identify who is and who isn't a Jew, a sort of secret handshake but permanent.
 

peoplesuck

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The good thing about a foreskin is that it captures pre-cum so if I get aroused by making out I'm not going to have a wet spot in my underwear.
1584294030765.png
 

ZenRaiden

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I mean medically it does not do any damage as far as I know if done right. So its not really a function issue its just culture issue. Why people do it is beyond me, but there might be some sort of positive to it.
I doubt not having fore skin makes peoples lives any better. There are probably million better ways to upgrade your life.
 

Yellow

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I'm not a man, but I can answer the "why do Americans do this to their children?!" question. I spent about 5 years working with American mothers of newborn boys.

This was one of the more ethically challenging parts of my job at the time. I'm strongly against circumcision, but in my role, it was unethical to assert my morality. Of course, when mothers had questions about the process, I had no qualms about leading them to reliable medical literature.

While many of the mothers admitted it wasn't an ideal practice, all but one had the procedure done. Some went to great lengths to get the procedure, despite encountering insurance and provider barriers.

The collective reasoning encompassed one or all of these, (@Inexorable Username touched on two of them already):
  1. Circumcision is "normal", and they don't want their son to be marginalized by brothers, peers, and/or potential mates
  2. Uncircumcised boys are at higher risk for hygiene issues and/or they don't have any male assistance in caring for the child and are unsure of how to work with an uncircumcised penis
  3. The father/the father's family wanted it done
  4. It marks him as a christian boy
edit: This kind of ignorance isn't isolated to the topic of circumcision, unfortunately. We The People have serious issues with health literacy in general.
 

Cognisant

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Uncircumcised boys are at higher risk for hygiene issues and/or they don't have any male assistance in caring for the child and are unsure of how to work with an uncircumcised penis
If we're talking about desperately poor medieval serfs who can only afford to bathe once a year... no I still don't think it would matter. If you get a diseased dick it's from sticking it in places you shouldn't have and whether or not you have a foreskin isn't going to make any difference.
 

Elen

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I'm not a man, but I can answer the "why do Americans do this to their children?!" question. I spent about 5 years working with American mothers of newborn boys.

This was one of the more ethically challenging parts of my job at the time. I'm strongly against circumcision, but in my role, it was unethical to assert my morality. Of course, when mothers had questions about the process, I had no qualms about leading them to reliable medical literature.

While many of the mothers admitted it wasn't an ideal practice, all but one had the procedure done. Some went to great lengths to get the procedure, despite encountering insurance and provider barriers.

The collective reasoning encompassed one or all of these, (@Inexorable Username touched on two of them already):
  1. Circumcision is "normal", and they don't want their son to be marginalized by brothers, peers, and/or potential mates
  2. Uncircumcised boys are at higher risk for hygiene issues and/or they don't have any male assistance in caring for the child and are unsure of how to work with an uncircumcised penis
  3. The father/the father's family wanted it done
  4. It marks him as a christian boy
edit: This kind of ignorance isn't isolated to the topic of circumcision, unfortunately. We The People have serious issues with health literacy in general.
All of that. For a "first world" country the basic medical knowledge of the general populace as well as access to medical assistance is limited and biased. But that is a different topic.
 

Thurlor

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I'm so disappointed that there is such a double standard for circumcision regarding boys and girls. If it is a girl it is automatically considered mutilation (FGM) despite the fact that at least 2 of the 5 forms of female circumcision practiced don't even involve the removal of any body parts.

From my understanding some of the prevalence of circumcision in the US is due to the actions of anti-masturbation propagandists from the end of the 19th century through to the beginning of the 20th century.

I like comparing circumcision with removing supposedly unrequired body parts. How many people would support the removal of a child's ear-lobe or little toe because of tradition?
 

washti

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they were hot currency. them foreskins.

1 Samuel 18:25-27 King James Version (KJV)

25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.

27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

If it is a girl it is automatically considered mutilation (FGM) despite the fact that at least 2 of the 5 forms of female circumcision practiced don't even involve the removal of any body parts.
what are these 5 forms? how often are each of them (%, numbers)used globally? How popular are these 2 non-invasive (?) ?
is the data available at all, given that circumcision of women is illegal in most countries?
 

Rebis

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Circumcision is bad. Decreases pleasure sensitivity, infections, exposure of the head.

I don't know if it's for aesthetic reasons but I like my foreskin. Swollen mushrooms not so much.
 

Inexorable Username

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Sorry that it took me so long to respond to this thread! I think it's probably one of the most enlightening ones I ever posted & I'm really happy I did it!

@Elen - I love your stance! My sister didn't want to get her son circumcised but she was pressured into it, and she described it as incredibly traumatic for her and her child. She says that she would never do it again. I think it's a shame that she was pressured like that. She's typically a very stubborn person when it comes to her decisions regarding her children, but my nephew was her first child and I think she was understandably already going through quite a bit, so they were able to wear her down. I think it was mostly her husband, but the doctors encouraged that decision as well.

@Thurlor - Insofar as I was aware, female circumcision is far different and far more barbaric and cruel than male circumcision. If I'm wrong about that, please go ahead and send me some sources! What I will say, though, is that surgical circumcision of the female genetalia is something completely appalling to me.

I didn't actually realize that other countries didn't circumcize their boys as commonly as we do in the US. That's useful knowledge! Also learned a lot about foreskin. Actually, I'm just now starting to realize that I have no idea what the point of it is. Lol. Time to research.

Thanks for all of your responses! They were really valuable and they help me to have a more empathetic understanding of the topic. I appreciate it!
 

Inexorable Username

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After having read your responses...I think my stance is this.

It seems to me that many men here do not feel particularly distressed or bothered by having foreskin. Apparently it can be uncomfortable sometimes, but it has its upsides. Obviously, it's a little different in the US, because of the rate at which males are circumcised here...but to be perfectly honest, I have some other opinions that come into play regarding "conformist circumcision".

I don't think children should be naked in front of their peers. It's not okay with me. I think it can just as easily lead to feelings of fear and shame regarding nudity, as well as confusion regarding molestation and sexuality, as it can "acclimate children to the concept of nudity and help them to be comfortable with their bodies". (This is the argument I've heard in support of allowing children to strip naked in changing rooms or use urinals in front of their friends)

By the way, I'm making an assumption here that boys use urinals in school. I'm not sure how else they would be privy to the knowledge of the shape of each others penises. Anyways...

My other stance in regards to this is that I don't think it's healthy to put children in such large groupings of their peers at an early age. It's unrealistic to expect bullying to go away because we "don't tolerate it". Young children don't have the emotional control or the practice with empathy necessary to socialize appropriately. Bullying is always going to exist, in my opinion. The only thing that punishing, alienating, and shaming bullies accomplishes, is to make those children (who already probably have significant psychological difficulties) repress their feelings, which can cause even more issues later in life.

The solution is that children should not be exposed to large, overpopulated, social settings until they are mentally mature enough to handle that kind of socialization.

I'm not keen on public schools, as is probably obvious. If I had children, I would want to homeschool them until high school. I think that the issue of circumcision would not be an "issue" if it were not for the, often extreme, hardships that are imposed upon children in public school. Parents wouldn't have to worry that their child would develop self-loathing feelings and body dysmorphia due to some "unusual" aspect of their penis. At the end of the day, I think that is what guides most of the parents' decisions in America. I think, as someone mentioned, it's conformity. However, it's not illogical to be concerned with your child's conformity. The objective is to raise a psychologically healthy individual, and children cannot be expected to automatically cope with, and manage their feelings, in healthy, productive ways. It's a learned behavior.

Anyways, that's my stance on it! I think if I did have an uncircumcised male child in a public school system, I would take care to make more of an effort to discuss the penis, in a medical and scientific fashion, with my child, so that they feel like it's not an unapproachable subject, and I would let them know why I made the decision I did, and that they're welcome to have the operation done when they're old enough to make that decision for themselves, if that's what they want. I would also let them know that most men in the world aren't circumcised. I think that would help. Little things like that can help a child to feel less alienated and alone when it comes to being self-conscious about one's body. I think if you're going to have a kid, you should be prepared to have these conversations. If you can't handle it, maybe you're not mature enough yet to help another human being develop in a healthy fashion, with respect and confidence in their body, and the feeling that they have adults to turn to should they need help.
 
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