Author Topic: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision  (Read 649 times)  Share 

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Offline Mooby the Golden Sock

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Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« on: October 14, 2016, 05:31:01 AM »
Forked from here:
Read this, it's brief.

http://www.intactamerica.org/learnmore

If Mooby happens to catch this... I would be interested in his opinion since he's a medical professional (I think?).

My opinion: it's biased and inaccurate.  Here is a point by point analysis with my evaluation of each.

Myth – Circumcising baby boys is a safe and harmless procedure.
Fact – Surgically removing part of a baby boy's penis causes pain, creates immediate health risks and can lead to serious complications. Risks include infection, hemorrhage, scarring, difficulty urinating, loss of part or all of the penis, and even death. Circumcision complications can and do occur in even the best clinical settings.

My Verdict - Exaggerated
Serious complications are rare.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) cites studies showing significant complications at 0.19-0.22% in US hospitals.  The World Health Organization (WHO) cites studies showing serious complications from 0-2.1% over a broader range of studies worldwide.


Myth – Circumcision is just a little snip.
Fact – Surgical removal of the foreskin involves immobilizing the baby by strapping him face-up onto a molded plastic board. In one common method, the doctor then inserts a metal instrument under the foreskin to forcibly separate it from the glans, slits the foreskin, and inserts a circumcision device. The foreskin is crushed and then cut off. The amount of skin removed in a typical infant circumcision is the equivalent of 15 square inches in an adult male.

My Verdict - Misleading
The description of the bell method of circumcision is accurate.  The comparison to adult foreskin is misleading as the two are not equivalents.  There's a reason that this measurement is given in area rather than width, and that's because of the way it scales with growth: doubling a penis's size (length and width) quadruples the area of the foreskin, giving way scarier numbers.  This, in turn, affects the biological properties of the tissues involved (this is the reason we will never have single-celled organisms the size of humans.)  The short answer here is that the two are not equivalent, and this is easily seen in the comparison of infant, child, and adult circumcisions.  Infant circumcisions are less complicated than child circumcisions, which are in turn less complicated than adult circumcisions, and the reason for this is that the amount of tissue being removed is not equivalent and does not scale in the way the website suggests.


Myth – Circumcision is routinely recommended and endorsed by doctors and other health professionals.
Fact – No professional medical association in the United States or anywhere else in the world recommends routine circumcision as medically necessary. In fact, leaving boys intact is becoming the norm in the U.S., as parents realize the risks and harms of circumcision.

My Verdict - Half-truth
This answer uses equivocation: it equates "routinely recommended and endorsed" to "medically necessary."  In reality, the AAP's stance is that the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, but it is not medically necessary.  A more accurate assessment is that circumcision is endorsed by both doctors and professional organizations, but no formal recommendation is given as the evidence does not point towards medical necessity.

The claim that no circumcision is "becoming the norm in the U.S." is based on extrapolating from a slowly falling trend line approaching 50%.  But that's still a half-truth as in reality a small majority still do circumcise, and as such non-circumcision is not really "the norm" yet.  The reasons given are speculative and even if they are correct, this is more indicative of a misinterpretation of the evidence that focuses more heavily on the potential risks than benefits, when in reality the evidence suggests a slight overall benefit from circumcision.


Myth – The baby does not feel any pain during circumcision.
Fact – Circumcision is painful. Babies are sensitive to pain, just like older children and adults. The analgesics used for circumcision only decrease pain; they do not eliminate it. Further, the open wound left by the removal of the foreskin will continue to cause the baby pain and discomfort for the 7-10 days it takes to heal.

My Verdict - Misleading
Both the AAP and WHO recommend analgesia, and strongly favor a penile nerve block.  Nerve blocks are easy as hell to do (I know because I've done them) and it's pretty trivial to shoot enough lidocaine in there such that no pain is felt, whether it's a finger or toe or penis or whatever else.  Getting numbed hurts, and it's going to be a bit sore while it heals.  But we're talking minor pain here, and the site is making it sound worse than it actually is.


Myth – If I don't circumcise my son, he will be ridiculed.
Fact – Times have changed and so has people's understanding of circumcision. Today, although the popularity of circumcision varies across geographical areas, nearly half of all baby boys born in the U.S. will leave the hospital intact. Most medically advanced nations do not practice child circumcision. Three quarters of the world's men are intact.

My Verdict - Misleading
"People's understanding of circumcision" does not equate to children's understanding of circumcision.  Kids will ridicule each other for anything and everything, and US children are not going to take into account the circumcision statistics in Western Europe when deciding how to judge other kids' penises.
The reality is that the prevalence of circumcision in the US varies by region and ethnic group.  An uncircumcised non-Hispanic white male child living in the Midwest US will almost certainly be in the minority among his peers.  That being said, overall I think this reason is a rather poor one for making a long-term decision for another person, as the social acceptability of circumcision is apt to change with the popularity of the procedure.


Myth – A boy should be circumcised to look like his father.
Fact – Children differ from their parents in many ways, including eye and hair color, body type, and (of course) size and sexual development. If a child asks why his penis looks different from that of his circumcised father (or brother), parents can say, "Daddy (or brother) had a part of his penis removed when he was a baby; now we know it’s not necessary and we decided not to let anyone do that to you."

My Verdict - Is this one a straw man argument?
I dunno, this one seems kind of dumb.  Anyways, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that I think this would be a dumb reason to make such a decision.


Myth – Routine circumcision of baby boys cannot be compared to Female Genital Mutilation.
Fact – Rationales offered in cultures that promote female genital cutting – hygiene, disease prevention, improved appearance of the genitalia, and social acceptance – are similar to those offered in cultures that promote male circumcision. Whatever the rationale, forced removal of healthy genital tissue from any child – male or female – is unethical. Boys have the same right as girls to an intact body, and to be spared this inhumane, unnecessary surgery.

My Verdict - False
No, they're not comparable.  Both the AAP and WHO cite several acceptable benefits of male circumcision, including those listed above.  However, the reasons given for female circumcision generally include tradition, sexual suppression, and modesty, not health benefits.  WHO does not recognize any health benefits of female circumcision, and classifies it as a human rights violation.


Myth – To oppose male circumcision is religious and cultural bigotry.
Fact – Many who oppose the permanent alteration of children's genitals do so because they believe in universal human rights. All children – regardless of their ethnicity or culture – have the right to be protected from bodily harm.

My Verdict - Misleading
The fact is that circumcision (along with many other types of body modification) is clearly tied to religious and cultural beliefs throughout the world.  To oppose it is to impose one's own values and beliefs in a way that supersedes those of said religious and cultural backgrounds.  Bigots rarely outright admit to bigotry; rather, a justification is used to make the bigot's imposition seem legitimate and fact-based rather than in opposition to a religion or culture.  The reality is that with this vague alleged group of "many"[1] we have no way of knowing how many of "many" actually have this as their primary motivation, rather than using this justification as a smokescreen to promote a Eurocentric, anti-Semitic/Islamic viewpoint.  Furthermore, are we conclude from the above that "The Rest" (defined as "All" - "Many") are indeed bigots?  Regardless, it is my opinion that in the absence of strong evidence showing the harms are significant and clearly outweigh the benefits (as with female circumcision), there is no basis for those who oppose circumcision to try to impose their values on those whose cultural or religious beliefs permit it.


Myth – Circumcising newborn baby boys produces health benefits later in life.
Fact – There is NO link between circumcision and better health. In fact, cutting a baby boy's genitals creates immediate health risks. The foreskin is actually an important and functional body part, protecting the head of the penis from injury and providing moisture and lubrication. Circumcision also diminishes sexual pleasure later in life.

My Verdict - False
Per the AAP, circumcision is linked to lower rates of several STDs including HIV, as well as decreased rates of UTI, penile cancer, cervical cancer in circumcised men's female partners, and penile problems after age 1 (inflammation, infection, skin conditions, etc.)  They found no evidence that circumcision decreases sexual function or pleasure.  The WHO cited decreased incidence of HIV, other STDs, penile cancer, cervical cancer in female partners, and UTI.  As noted above, the "immediate health risks" are exaggerated in relative importance and severity.


Myth – Male circumcision helps prevent HIV.
Fact – Claims that circumcision prevents HIV have repeatedly been proven to be exaggerated or false. Only abstinence or safe sex, including the use of condoms, can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

My Verdict - Bulls**t
Both the AAP and WHO cite strong evidence showing decreased HIV transmission in circumcised men.  Per the WHO, "There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%[. . .]WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence."


My Actual Opinion: Even though the benefits slightly outweigh the risks, the risk/benefit ratio is not clear enough to make a compelling medical argument one way or another.  Thus, the final result is essentially cosmetic, and I have no strong feelings one way or another on it. 

 1. I like to mentally substitute "many" with "a hypothetical group I just made up to prove my point"
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 05:39:01 AM by Mooby the Golden Sock »
History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.--BÖC

Offline bad actor

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 06:41:27 AM »
Thanks Mooby.... I've enjoyed your posts on vaccines in the past too.  ||smiley||

Edit: I personally don't have strong feelings for or against either. I would think that it should be up to the person to decide when they were old enough...but ...

I just don't believe that an infinitely wise, infinitely loving creator of a universe would ask...well...you know.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 06:52:15 AM by bad actor, Reason: Added Edit. »
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Offline Mooby the Golden Sock

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 11:51:15 AM »
Yes, it does seem like an odd position. If the believer claims circumcision is beneficial, does this mean the creator made a suboptimal design? "Whoops guys, I don't know what I was thinking when I nade that. Can you do ne a favor and just lop it off?"

It also seems odd to me that Abraham made a covenant with God in his 90s, and his first thought for sealing the deal was to cut off part of his penis.
History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.--BÖC

Offline Inertialmass

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 01:25:35 PM »
I've always questioned the control protocol and followup assessment in the African adult male circumcision studies purporting an innate HIV prophylactic effect.  The newly circumcised guy is wounded and disfigured (per the African cultural norm.) 

If thousands of folks are forced to refrain from sexual intercourse for at least six weeks simply because such is too effing painful to even think of engaging, of course there will be a huge statistical reduction in HIV incidence among this study group.  Meantime, the control group is still whooping it up and catching bugs. 

Then too from the purely psycho-social/cultural angle, say you simply cut the nose tips off of a thousand guys, leaving a bloody runny open nose stump, dollars to donuts their STD rates will go way down.  Who wants to have sex with that?

I could be wrong, but I don't see that these various studies carefully tracked it to assure that the mutilated men had just as much sex with similar partners as the uncut controls.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 02:12:19 PM »
I'm not making the claim that God did it for health benefits.  However, resaearch shows that circumcision is not unwise or unloving.  It also appears that the benefits may scale in relation to the availability of advanced health care.  It may have been of even more benefit thousands of years ago.  The point is that God was not having them do something that was harmful to them.

Concerning the child having a choice, that cuts both ways.  The child can neither opt in or out.  It should not be assumed that, given a choice, the child would choose no.  Waiting until adulthood poses more risks and deprives the child of the benefits of circumcision while growing up.

 
Jehovah is the one marching before you, and he will continue with you. He will neither desert you nor abandon you. Do not be afraid or be terrified.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Offline Meat

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 02:21:14 PM »
Let's talk about the scream that the little boy emits during the procedure. Well part of it was that silent scream. Poor little guy. Ouch!
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Offline Inertialmass

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 03:33:28 PM »
^^^^  No. 

Pro-circumcision Jews and Christians insist we only talk about the scream that the little Muslim girl emits during "female genital mutilation."

And then go to war over it if we must.

Offline eyeshaveit

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 07:06:06 PM »
I'm not making the claim that God did it for health benefits. 

Do Jehovah's witnesses teach of the why that Jehovah molded his people (the Israelites) to be so different, or is it not important?

Offline Mooby the Golden Sock

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 10:58:26 PM »
The point is that God was not having them do something that was harmful to them.
But why not just have them get a tattoo? It's the choice of the mark that I find odd.
History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.--BÖC

Offline Kusa

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 12:52:26 AM »
Yes, it does seem like an odd position. If the believer claims circumcision is beneficial, does this mean the creator made a suboptimal design? "Whoops guys, I don't know what I was thinking when I nade that. Can you do ne a favor and just lop it off?"
According to the Bible that's the way it is.
Quote
It also seems odd to me that Abraham made a covenant with God in his 90s, and his first thought for sealing the deal was to cut off part of his penis.
God loves the foreskins of men and boys. It's in your Bible. If you bring him 200 of them you get extra points.

Offline Inertialmass

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 01:21:04 AM »
The point is that God was not having them do something that was harmful to them.

I remember this was kind of a big deal in the news just a few years ago:

Quote
NYC, Orthodox Jews in talks over ritual after herpes cases

February 21, 2015 NEW YORK (AP)

With a swift swipe of his scalpel, Rabbi A. Romi Cohn circumcises the baby boy, then leans down and sucks the blood from the wound as prayers in Hebrew fill the Brooklyn synagogue.

The Orthodox Jewish tradition known as oral suction circumcision reaches back to biblical times but it has created a modern-day dilemma for New York City health officials, who have linked it to 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000. Two died and two others suffered brain damage.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, which came into power a year ago with a promise to reconsider an existing regulation on the ritual, is now negotiating with a group of rabbis over how to protect children's health while still preserving religious freedom...
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/21/nyc-orthodox-jews-in-talks-over-ritual-after-herpes-cases/23798751/

If this insanity is killing kids now, there's no good reason to assume it didn't in the past.  And like those pedophile priests and rabbis, for each one we find out there's undoubtedly a dozen swept under the rug by an embarrassed, tight-nit religious community.  But of course in the Good Old Days they would not have had a clue that the ritual was bestowing specific bloodborne pathogens upon the boys and so would have come up with some mumbo-jumbo tribal religious crap blaming the victims.

Offline GratefulApe

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 01:53:57 PM »
Yes, it does seem like an odd position. If the believer claims circumcision is beneficial, does this mean the creator made a suboptimal design? "Whoops guys, I don't know what I was thinking when I nade that. Can you do ne a favor and just lop it off?"

It also seems odd to me that Abraham made a covenant with God in his 90s, and his first thought for sealing the deal was to cut off part of his penis. 

Abraham didn't make a covenant with God. God made a covenant with Abraham. See Genesis 17.

 Genesis 17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

9 God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. 13 A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”


Also here is some info on why It is safer to have it done on the 8th day. Not sure if the medical science of today agrees with the reasons but find it interesting. It has something to do with vitamin K.



Anticipated Discoveries of the Bible: Circumcision & the 8th Day
https://sepetjian.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/anticipated-discoveries-of-the-bible-circumcision-the-8th-day/



God told Abraham to circumcise babies on the 8th day of life.

Did you know it wasn’t until 1939 that we had any idea why?

The human body has two blood clotting factors.  One of them is called Vitamin K.  Vitamin K is not formed in the body until the 5th to the 7th day.
The second clotting factor which is necessary is called Prothrombin.  It interestingly enough develops to 30% of normal by the 3rd day of life and then with seeming in-consequence, peaks at 110% on the 8th day, before leveling off at 100% of normal.

____________

That is a part of the article from the link. Not sure if the Bible backs up the science of today but found it interesting.
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Offline Inertialmass

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2016, 04:26:27 PM »
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18677590
Quote
The neonatal coagulation system and the vitamin K deficiency bleeding - a mini review.

Pichler E1, Pichler L.


Author information
1Department of Paediatrics, Landeskrankenhaus Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria.

Abstract

Coagulation factors do not cross the placental barrier but are synthesized independently by the conceptus. At birth, activities of the vitamin K dependent factors II, VII, IX, and X and the concentrations of the contact factors XI and XII are reduced to about 50% of normal adult values. The levels of the factors V, VIII, XIII, and fibrinogen are similar to adult values. Plasma concentrations of the naturally occurring anticoagulant proteins (antithrombin, protein C, and protein S) are significantly lower at birth than during the adult years. Plasminogen is reduced by approximately 50%. Platelet counts are within the normal range, regarding function, however, neonatal platelets seem to be hyporeactive. The von Willebrand factor contains large multimers and its concentration is increased. Properties and functions of vitamin K as well as requirement and plasma concentrations in newborns are reviewed. Regarding vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), the classical nomenclature is used: "early" (presenting within the first 24 h of life), "classical" (day 1-7 after birth), and "late" (8 days to 6 months). After the presentation of the history of vitamin K prophylaxis, vitamin K levels are described as can be expected after the administration of prophylactic doses at various routes. Subsequently, the actual schedule of vitamin K prophylaxis as recommended by the "Osterreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendheilkunde" is given as follows: i) the oral treatment of healthy full-term babies and orally fed preterm babies, ii) the parenteral treatment of small preterm and sick full-term babies, and iii) the treatment of mothers under medication with enzyme-inducing drugs with vitamin K during the last 15-30 days of pregnancy. The regimes of prophylactic vitamin K treatment of different countries are also given. Finally, the therapeutic use of vitamin K is addressed; the potential use of fresh-frozen plasma, prothrombin complex preparations, and recombinant factor VIIa is discussed.
 

Offline RegalSin

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Re: Cutting to the Chase on Circumcision
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 10:14:30 AM »
It is a religious properties that sneaked it's way into medical index. Obviously people circumsize the baby either to prevent another problem or just because humans are cruel. Jewish babies get it twice.

 

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