On my last entry, I was taken to task for referring to male circumcision as "genital mutilation" and saying that it was "completely unnecessary." Not only that, but it became a topic for debate at work. I shall amend my statement a bit.
A few things I should get out of the way first though.
1) Female "circumcision" really is nothing more than genital mutilation, and I absolutely will not bend on this (not that anybody's asking me to). The equivalent would be if (Gross out alert!) the entire head of a boy's penis were cut off.
2) I am not upset at my parents for circumcising me. I don't blame them, and I don't think that it's been detrimental to my life.
3) Andrew Nolan, who took me to task for my statement, is a poo-head. Not only that, but he eats poo. The man owns End of Days on DVD. Not only that, but it is his favorite movie of all time. He also admires Hitler. And he's gay, which I don't have a problem with, but it's not fair to his wife that he refers to her as "the beard." He also doesn't know the difference between oranges and shoes. In short, he's a communist. And a prostitute.
That said, if it came down to it, and I had to make the choice between circumcision and noncircumcision, either for myself or for a hypothetical son, I would not go through with it. Following are the reasons why people do have it done, and why I don't think that they're good enough.
1. Aesthetics - This all depends on where you're from, isn't it? What about here though? Turns out that 56% (according to Kidshealth.org) of male babies a year are circumcised. I don't have the numbers, but I imagine that the number was much higher when I was born. What I'm saying is, as times are changing, the uncircumcised (henceforth "natural") penis won't look so "weird" to people in the U.S. Who knows, if trends continue, the circumcised boys may wind up being the ones who look odd!
2. Religion/tradition - Next. If you've ever read any of my blogs, you can probably guess how I feel. Religion can excuse why you don't eat meat on a Friday, not cutting stuff off of a baby. Tradition is used to justify all sorts of awful ideas and behaviors, and even if you want to play that game, the human race has a much grander tradition of NOT circumcising!
3. Health - Well, this is the tricky one, isn't it? Again, according to Kidshealth.org (and further research seems to back this up) the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend it. To be fair though, they didn't find enough evidence to either recommend it or recommend against it. Seems to me that what they're saying is that it's unnecessary but not awful.
Of course, as Andrew (keep in mind, he's a card-carrying member of the Pol Pot fan club) pointed out, there are some doctors out there who are very much in favor of the procedure. I suppose that it's something to consider, but you'll also find scientists who deny the human impact on global warming and scientists who say that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. I'm not enough of an expert in this issue to say that those doctors are as quacky as the young-Earth scientists are, but a few voices in the wilderness aren't enough to convince me.
So, if it were up to me, we'd stop doing it. I would never choose to have it done to somebody, and if I could turn back time, I'd have it not done to me. However, I would not frown upon those who decide to have it done. I do frown upon Andrew Nolan though, but that's because he hands out meth to children on Halloween.