UK body modification trial raises questions about circumcision

UK body modification trial raises questions about circumcision February 13, 2019

CIRCUMCISIONS carried out for religious reasons on children who are unable to consent to the procedure ought logically to be outlawed in the UK, given a ruling yesterday (Tuesday) by the UK Court of Appeal.

BBC screenshot

The ruling had nothing whatsoever to do with circumcision. It related to a case involving body modification artist Brendan McCarthy, 50, above, who calls himself “Dr Evil”. The judges said that it was not in the public interest that a person could wound another without a good reason.

First off, I think the ruling is utterly absurd. What consenting adults choose do to their bodies is a purely personal matter, whether it involves tattooing, body-piercing, or in more extreme cases, having one’s tongue split or an ear or nipple lopped off.

However, the ruling might prove a useful weapon in the hands of anti-circumcisionists.

While female genital mutilation is, quite rightly outlawed in the UK and other European countries, male circumcision is not. I hope the ruling is seized upon by opponents of circumcision carried out for non-medical reasons, and redouble their efforts for a complete ban of the practice.

In the light of the court ruling, McCarthy – famous throughout the body modification community – has now pleaded guilty to three counts of causing grievous bodily harm. A petition set up to support him has attracted almost 14,00o signatures.

Rhiannon Jones, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said she was not seeking to curtail freedom of expression to but protect the public.

The CPS investigation began after people who had seen pictures of Mr McCarthy removing the ear online raised the alarm.

She said:

This prosecution was not brought to curtail individual choice or freedom of self-expression but because Mr McCarthy, who was licensed to carry out tattooing and body piercing, was performing what were significant surgical procedures in a tattoo studio in Wolverhampton.

This case confirms the existing law that surgical procedures must be carried out by properly trained, qualified and regulated surgeons or health care professionals.

That’s all very well, but, in the case of male circumcision, many practitioners are not qualified. AS far as I can ascertain, only in very rare instances where children have died – as in the case of four-month-old Goodluck Caubergs – or suffered horrendous injuries has the law reluctantly intervened.

However, legal proceedings arising out of botched male circumcisions are miniscule, and large numbers of infant boys go on to develop complications that are never dealt with by the law.

In 2017, the Health Department in New York reported that 24 cases of herpes had been linked to Jewish circumcisions since 2000. Two of the infants died and two others suffered brain damage. The infants had been subjected to the ancient practice of  metzitzah b’peh that requires a mohel, the person performing the circumcision, to suck blood from the incision on an infant’s penis.

You’d think that the practice would be outlawed, but the only action taken by the Health Department was to issue leaflets pointing put the danger of this barbaric ritual.


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  • EllyR

    In principle, male circumcision is as bad as female circumcision. The final result in both cases is pure mutilation with no other reason than to affect sexual pleasure. The acts are primitive and barbaric, performed without anesthesia and cause irreversible damage to the body. There is absolutely no room for this kind of practises in the 21st century. Strict legislation should put anybody connected to such acts on the same par with sex molesters. Freedom of religion cannot include cruelty, or human sacrifice will make a comeback soon…

  • Raging Bee

    In fairness, there are preventive-medicine justifications for male circumcision that don’t apply to FGM. I myself find them less convincing then I used to, but they do exist, and do effect the public debate.

  • Anne Fenwick

    It’s worth noting that although male infant circumcision is common in North America, it’s exceedingly rare and usually restricted to religious groups in Europe, with no apparent health differences. I did know one boy who was circumcised for medical reasons, in late childhood, after a physical problem became obvious.

  • Jack the Sandwichmaker

    Wouldn’t someone asking Dr. Evil to do the surgery count as “good reason”?

  • Mark

    I thought the exact same thing. The “Spanner Case” raised a similar issue. If it’s illegal to drive a nail through the for-skin of a consenting adult, then how can it be legal to permanently remove the foreskin of a child?

    Three national medical organizations (Iceland, Sweden and Germany) have called for infant male circumcision to be *banned*, and two others (Denmark and the Netherlands) have said they’d support a ban if they didn’t think it would drive the practice underground.

    “Routine” circumcision *is* banned in public hospitals in Australia (almost all the men responsible for this policy will be circumcised themselves, as the male circumcision rate in Australia in 1950 was about 90%).

    If it weren’t a religious thing, elective circumcision of boys would have banned in lots of countries decades ago, same as it was for girls.

  • Vanity Unfair

    The case of R v. Brown https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/uk/cases/UKHL/1993/19.html did address the situation where consent was argued as a defence to a charge of ABH under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. In a split decision the House of Lords decided that consent was not a valid defence under the circumstances of that case. The judgment is a hard read but must be undertaken for a full understanding.
    As far as circumcision is concerned this is mentioned only once in the judgment at page 2:

    Ritual circumcision, tattooing, earpiercing and violent sports including boxing are lawful activities.

    And so the whole subject is swept away with no discussion . This is strange when consent is the whole reason for the trial as it is a commonplace that a baby would not be legally competent to give consent to such an operation and the subject of Gillick competence would not arise until a much later age. Anyone hoping to use this case as a lever for banning circumcision would have a hard job. The only inference that occurs to me is that it is a matter for the parents. It would take a specific decision of the Supreme Court or an Act to settle the matter.

  • Raging Bee

    It’s also worth noting that the few people I’ve seen claiming medical expertise and advocating FOR the indiscriminate circumcision of all male babies, have always come across as arrogant, self-righteous, kinda…shall we say…testerical, and just plain lacking in credibility as they slide from medical discourse to almost religious crusading for a procedure that they say is both urgently important and/or nothing to get at all upset about. They’re especially appalling when they just flatly and summarily deny ANY loss of pleasure or enjoyment as a result of circumcision.

  • Raging Bee

    Sexual function, sensation and pleasure are all the same or better in a circumcised man.

    Plenty of men, circumcised and uncircumcised, dispute that gross over-generalization of yours. Why should we consider your UNSUPPORTED opinion more valid than theirs?

  • Raging Bee

    Also, did you used to post as “briankmorris?” That circumfetishist was credibly accused of some seriously sick shit on his web-page — which then had significant bits hastily removed.

  • Raging Bee

    Here’s a link to a debate between anti-circ Brian D. Earp and pro-circ fanatic Stephen Moreton:

    http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2013/07/podcast-the-ethics-of-infant-male-circumcision/

    One thing that really stands out here is that the anti-circ guy comes off as FAR more levelheaded and reasonable than Moreton, who leads off at the get-go with emotional name-calling and hypocritical accusations:

    Misleading anti-circumcision propaganda.

    Brian Earp’s propaganda piece for the anti-circumcision lobby is a mixture of misleading claims, unreliable “studies” and emotional rhetoric…

    Um…who’s being “emotional” there? All I can say is that the anti-circ guy comes off far more credible than the circumfetishist.

  • Raging Bee

    Speaking of the devil, look who’s popped back out of the fever-swamps to defend circumsicion. This might be Brian K. Morris, a circumfetishist who’d been credibly accused of having some pretty sick shit up on his blog, hinting at deriving sexual gratification from watching guys get circumcised. This could get interesting…

  • Raging Bee

    Here’s part of Earp’s response to the broad, unsupported allegation that circumcision has no effect on anyone’s ability to experience sexual pleasure:

    6. You don’t like the studies I mentioned in which men reported feeling harmed by their circumcisions. Yes, these were self-selecting, and no, they are not representative. I stated quite clearly in my talk that I’d be happy to grant that most men who have been circumcised do not mind their status. Yet you missed the thrust of my argument. All I needed to demonstrate, for the purposes of the ethical analysis I was giving, was that there are a non-trivial number of men who DO mind, and mind in quite severe ways, that their genitals were operated on without their consent. Why? Because anyone who is not circumcised can always have his foreskin removed, if that’s what he would like; whereas the thousands upon thousands of men who resent having had their foreskins removed can never have them back.

    And another thing: RJ Kellogg, the millionaire loony who was instrumental in making indiscriminate circumcision of babies a universal policy in the USA after WW-II, explicitly said circumcision was good and necessary because it diminished the ability to experience sexual pleasure. So your flat denial of this effect really sinks your credibility and raises serious questions about your honesty and motives.

  • Barry Duke

    A friend of mine who is does body piercing tells me that he knows of only ONE benefit of circumcised cocks: They’re easier to pierce in order to insert a stainless steel ring, known as a “Prince Albert”, which apparently increases sensitivity. https://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/prince-albert-piercing

  • Raging Bee

    What sort of sensitivity does it increase? Sensitivity to pain resulting from more physical damage?

  • Raging Bee

    And here’s another bit from Earp addressing your claims of medical benefits from circumcision:

    11. [Moreton writes]: “The anti-circumcision movement is built on scare-tactics, misleading claims, outright falsehoods and emotional rhetoric. It is a dangerous anti-medical, pseudoscientific movement akin to the anti-vaccinators and HIV/AIDS deniers (who often support it).” I think you overstate your case here. Many of those who are opposed to circumcision are leading experts in child health and epidemiology, medical ethics, and legal theory. A recent paper opposed to circumcision, and published in the flagship journal Pediatrics was penned by 38 distinguished pediatricians, pediatric surgeons, urologists, medical ethicists, and heads of hospital boards and children’s health societies throughout Europe and Canada (Frisch et al., 2013). These authors stated unequivocally: “Only one of the arguments put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics [in support of circumcision] has some theoretical relevance in relation to infant male circumcision; namely, the possible protection against urinary tract infections in infant boys, which can easily be treated with antibiotics without tissue loss. The other claimed health benefits, including protection against HIV/AIDS, genital herpes, genital warts, and penile cancer, are questionable, weak, and likely to have little public health relevance in a Western context, and they do not represent compelling reasons for surgery before boys are old enough to decide for themselves.”…

  • Raging Bee

    I just had a look at his previous comments — yes, he is Brian K. Morris.

  • Barry Duke

    I only threw that in, tongue-in-cheek, to show that NO benefits accrue from circumcision, other than to make a body piercer’s task easier.

    On a more serious note, some 70 years ago, following a trend in America, doctors in South Africa routinely circumcised infant boys, and also removed tonsils. I was one of the unfortunate ones to lose his foreskin due to “received wisdom” at the time.

    While happily allowing me to be genitally butchered, my parents baulked at the idea of having my tonsils removed. Bad decision. For years I suffered constant tonsil infections, and finally had to have them removed when I was 21. The post-operative pain was intense. The surgeon offered me a cigarette, saying “It’ll help ease the agony.” And it did!

  • Raging Bee

    I remember occasionally hearing of this or that grade-school friend having their tonsils out. Not all kids, and not all at the same age, but enough to make it seem like a routine rite of passage. As I remember (it was [REDACTED] years ago), it happened after a kid got sick with something. Do they still do this anymore?

  • Barry Duke

    Definitely not. The practice was abandoned decades ago when it was realised that tonsils, like foreskins, were there to serve a useful purpose. Now both of these body parts are left intact unless they give rise to problems.

  • Stephen Moreton

    The “recent paper … penned by 38 distinguished pediatricians” was not a paper at all, but a letter to the editor. The “distinguished pediatricians etc.” included many relative nobodies from various universities and hospitals, one Canadian, the rest European. The lead author, Morten Frisch, like Brian Earp, is a noted circ opponent, with a history of weak “studies” attacking circ. (His one trying to link circ to autism was roundly criticised by experts in autism). Not exactly an impartial source. One does not have to be Sherlock Holmes to see that Frisch has simply sent an email around his friends to muster support for his anti-circ agenda, yet he could only come up with 37 Europeans and one Canadian. Yet there are about 1.8 million physicians in the EU alone. And he could only muster 37, plus a Canadian! Pathetic. And about half of Frisch’s are from northern Europe, and about a third are Scandinavian (Frisch is Danish). Why so many Vikings? And how hypocritical that they should accuse the AAP of “cultural bias” when the “cultural bias” is theirs’ – as was pointed out in the detailed debunking that followed: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/4/801 Sadly, the practice of citing biased works by biased authors, whilst failing to acknowledge the rebuttals is habitual amongst anti-circs.

  • Raging Bee

    None of that refutes Earp’s basic point that the destruction of healthy body-parts of BABIES, without direct medical necessity, is a gross violation of basic medical ethics.

    Nor does it negate the OBVIOUS FACT that you and Morris are LYING when you flatly deny that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure. There are plenty of personal anecdotes that prove you wrong on that score — and that’s more than enough to sink your credibility.

  • Stephen Moreton

    It is rather amusing that you cite in your defence a comment by Earp in which he concedes that his studies on circ & sexual pleasure are weak. In fact there are about 60 such studies in all, and the great majority find little or no effect, leaving circ opponents to cherry-pick the few weak ones that suit their case. All the best quality studies (best study design, large sample sizes) find no adverse effect from circ. As for those men who, Earp says, “DO mind” that they are circ’d, perhaps the reason why is not because they can’t have their foreskins back, but because they have been misled by anti-circ propaganda telling them that they are missing something wonderful when they are not.
    Note that the Kellogg story is largely myth. He was always a crank out on the fringe, but he did not advocate for infant circ, and his ideas were never widely accepted. And he was just wrong about circ reducing pleasure. Circ was promoted in the USA after the 1st World War (not the 2nd) as a health and hygiene measure after it was observed that non-circ’d men returning from the trenches had problems down there. For more on the Kellogg myth see: https://www.circumcisionchoice.com/single-post/Kellogg

  • EllyR

    I was there, done that. I had my tonsils removed at 52 because they caused sleep apnea which is a death sentence if not treated.

  • Raging Bee

    I notice you only took about ONE SECOND to type and post that comment; which probably means you’re just trolling about and re-pasting a standard screed wherever you want.

    Many individuals have explicitly said that their foreskins are erogenous, which directly contradicts your blanket allegations to the contrary. That’s more than we need to prove that nothing you say can be trusted.

    Also, you don’t get to rule on the value of OTHER PEOPLE’S BODY-PARTS. Your disregard for the most basic principles of medical ethics is beyond disgraceful.

  • Raging Bee

    I can’t inhale tobacco smoke without gagging. Would a joint have the same effect?

  • Stephen Moreton

    “pro-circ fanatic”? I have lost count of the number of times I have expressly stated in comments threads that I support the WHO & CDC’s medical circ program in high-HIV settings, but am neutral about it outside of those settings. In those countries my position is clearly stated in my article here: http://www.thepinkhumanist.com/news/back-issue-features/370-circumcision-regulation-not-prohibition The procedure should be regulated, but I do not support prohibition. Nowhere in that article do I advocate for the procedure outside of high-HIV settings. I also helped draft the “Mission statement” here: http://circfacts.org/ The first two sentences of which are entirely mine. It is also rather telling that in your cherry-picked and out-of-context quotes from an old blog you ignore my detailed technical debunkings of specific, and demonstrably false, claims made by my opponent Brian Earp.

  • Raging Bee

    I ignore those “debunkings” because your comments are, yes, fanatical in tone, and peppered with obvious falsehoods. Yes, your own words prove you are a fanatic, and you have no credibility.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Anyone can cherry-pick, quote out-of-context, and use innuendo to denigrate another. Rather than engaging in crude character assassination, why don’t you instead tackle the technical arguments, and address them using hard science, backed up by peer-reviewed research published in reputable journals?

  • Raging Bee

    I don’t need “technical arguments.” Routine circumcision of babies is a blatant violation of medical ethics, full stop, and you have proven yourself dishonest in your advocacy of such unethical actions. Your position can be dismissed for those reasons alone.

  • Raging Bee

    This is from the source you just cited:

    DID HE PROMOTE CIRCUMCISION TO PREVENT MASTURBATION?
    Yes … but it’s more complicated than circumcision opponents would have us believe. Kellogg never promoted routine circumcision of all boys, and he had no interest in performing the procedure on infants. He endorsed it solely for the purpose of inflicting genital pain on boys who were caught masturbating.

    This only reinforces my argument, and does not in any way refute it.

  • Stephen Moreton

    It is not unsupported. Familiarise yourself with the hierarchy of evidence (Google it). Some study designs are inherently better than others. Those the anti-circs cite don’t get above cross-sectional (middle ranking). But there are studies higher that that, viz. a case-control study, 4 cohort studies, 3 RCTs (including one on the female partners of circ’d men) and 4 systematic reviews incorporating two meta-analyses. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these better quality studies, with sample sizes running into the 1000s, finds no adverse effect whatsoever on any aspect of sexual function, pleasure or sensation, resulting from circ. You can find some of them listed here: http://circfacts.org/function-sensation/#sens7 If I can find the time (difficult) I ought to post an item there listing them all. Most studies, and all the best studies, show that circ really does not harm sexual pleasure. That is just what the science says. Get used to it.

  • Raging Bee

    You keep on citing studies, but they don’t refute the direct individual experiences of circumcised and uncircumcised men. And those personal experiences prove you’re lying about the effect of circumcision on sexual pleasure. That’s what the experience of men says. Get used to it.

  • Stephen Moreton

    And condemn millions to disease, suffering and death. Circ is now recognised as one the most effective prophylaxes against female to male HIV transmission (in addition to a host of other benefits). And infant circ is better than adult for a host of medical, practical and cost reasons. Consequently circ (including infant) is now being promoted by WHO, CDC, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Marie Stopes and others in epidemic settings. https://www.malecircumcision.org/

  • Raging Bee

    You are making a BLANKET statement that “circ really does not harm sexual pleasure.” It only takes a handful of personal anecdotes to disprove it.

  • Raging Bee

    And once again: You have no standing to rule on the usefulness of other people’s body-parts. It’s that simple. There’s no study on Earth that changes that.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Those organisations that oppose circ do so from a position of cultural bias, as pointed out by the AAP in their reply to their critics. Significantly, however, no professional body anywhere denies the importance of circ in high-HIV settings, and none make the extravagant claims anti-circs do about circ harming sexual pleasure. It is also telling that so far, in low-HIV countries, only 3 bodies have attempted anything like a risk-benefit analysis based on a comprehensive survey of the literature. The AAP, CDC and the Canadian Pediatric Soc. The first two came out in favour (or perhaps that should be favor), the 3rd rather neutral. None of the opposing bodies has even tried a proper literature review. Their positions are ideology, not science, based.

  • Raging Bee

    Those organisations that oppose circ do so from a position of cultural bias…

    Yeah, a bias against doing permanent damage to babies’ body parts without a clear medical need. And maybe a bias in favor of finding less drastic ways to prevent certain maladies. You got a problem with that?

  • Stephen Moreton

    Absolute rubbish. There is no comparison, and cries of “mutilation” are equivocation: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog11 and appeals to emotion: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog3 Also, for medical circ, local anaesthetic is now routine.

  • Raging Bee

    …no professional body anywhere … make the extravagant claims anti-circs do about circ harming sexual pleasure.

    No, people with penises have made such claims, and no professional body can deny or disprove them.

  • Raging Bee

    …where “appeals to emotion” = “references to basic moral principles.”

  • Stephen Moreton

    Although not the norm, it is hardly “exceedingly rare” in Europe: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26933388 In any case, even if it was, so what? Your logical fallacy for today is “argumentum ad populum”: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog6

  • Stephen Moreton

    Why do you hate it? The great majority of circ’d males, rising to nearly all of them if done as adults, like it, or at least don’t mind.

  • EllyR

    Anybody that heard the screams of a 7 day old baby when the “mohel” butcher cuts through live skin, will happily wipe his bum with all the studies. I did!

  • Raging Bee

    To quote your own words: ‘Your logical fallacy for today is “argumentum ad populum”’

  • Stephen Moreton

    Whatever you may think of those who advocate for infant circ (and, outside of high-HIV settings I am not one of them) they are correct in saying that circ has no adverse effect on sexual pleasure etc. That is just what the science says. Get over it.

  • Raging Bee

    Only if they’re printed on the softest toilet-paper — and who makes printers that can use that? I guess it would have to be unscented, at least…

  • Raging Bee

    You keep on repeating an assertion that’s been solidly refuted by individual experiences. This only proves you have no respect for patient welfare, no respect for truth, and no morals. You are utterly untrustworthy, and so is your cause.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Actually Barry, as you know from my excellent article, which you kindly published for me (thanks!), there ARE benefits from infant circ. The question is, are those benefits enough to justify the procedure? In high-HIV settings the medical consensus is a firm YES. Outside those settings the jury is out, which is why my position is to urge caution, and to push for regulation, rather than prohibition, until such time as the science settles the matter. And right now the science is drifting in circ’s favour: http://www.thepinkhumanist.com/news/back-issue-features/370-circumcision-regulation-not-prohibition So again, I urge caution, and suggest that the way forward is to take the procedure out of the hands and razor blades of unqualified individuals, and keep it strictly regulated. That does not preclude a well-trained mohel doing it (there are studies I could cite showing that nurses and midwives can do it safely, if trained and equipped), but it MUST be to a high medical standard. And transgressors should be severely punished and held personally liable for any damages that result from their actions.

  • Stephen Moreton

    “Personal anecdotes” do not trump peer-reviewed science. I can cite you personal anecdotes about how wonderful circ is, about how MMR vaccine gave children autism, about how homeopathy cured someone’s aches and pains, about how the Blessed Virgin appeared to some teenage girl, about how flying saucers landed and little grey men got out and probed someone up the bottom…. Personal anecdotes are so weak, contradictory, unverifiable, and often absurd, that they are little better than worthless as evidence. They don’t even appear in the “hierarchy of evidence” and, if they did, they’d be at the very bottom. Pseudoscientists love them, and purveyors of snake oil will list dozens of them praising their product, or attacking proper medicine. Real scientists shun them, and for good reason. And personal anecdotes told by anti-circs have a history of turning out to be fabrications: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog22 (the David J Bernstein hoax). Anecdotes are for the gullible. I’ll go with the science every time.

  • EllyR

    Absolute rubbish are the religions that require such a primitive backwards action to happen. I have no problem with circumcision performed https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0e3918d8cb22b41683ff0f0751920daaf145dc67990e4d9a805d391c459a41af.jpg in hospitals by surgeons as any other procedure.

  • Stephen Moreton

    “ONE SECOND”! Huh? I draft my replies in Word because it is easier to check them over. Then I paste them into the “Reply” box. If you want an example of someone using a “standard screed” try Mark Lyndon’s posts (duplicate) at the top of this thread. He cuts and pastes the same rubbish all over the internet.
    As I said in another post, anecdotes are near worthless. The science is clear – circ has no adverse effect, no matter what dubious, exaggerated and likely fabricated internet anecdotes you gullibly believe.
    Right at the top of the “hierarchy of evidence” (have you Googled it yet?) are systematic reviews and meta-analyses. There are four systematic reviews on the topic of circ and sexual function etc., incorporating two meta-analyses. These examine all the best available evidence on the topic. Here they are:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27399981 (an attempted critique by Frisch & Earp was debunked by the authors – a copy is on ResearchGate but you’d need an account to access it).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23749001
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28653427
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23937309 An attempted rebuttal was debunked by the authors here: https://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=57720&
    The first three are by workers in non-circumcising cultures, so can hardly be accused of having a pro-circ bias. They are just reporting what they found when they evaluated the evidence. The last is by good old Morris, but it finds the same things the others find. Replication is an important part of science. And an attempt to critique it was shown to be baseless.
    Science can, and often does, “rule on the value” of body parts. It rules that those little muscles that some people have that allow them to twitch their ears are of little value, likewise the coccyx and various other bits and pieces, including some useless muscles that surgeons sometimes take bits off when doing reconstructive procedures. Look up “vestigial organs”.
    I always put science ahead of mere anecdotes, and the science is absolutely clear on this one. Circ has no negative effect on sexual function, pleasure or satisfaction. Unless they are (thankfully very rare) victims of a bodged circ, those who have personal anecdotes to the contrary are variously mistaken, deluded or lying. Get over it.

  • Stephen Moreton

    As an atheist I agree that religions are rubbish, and if that was all there was to it I’d be using religious circ as a stick to bash religions with. But that is not all there is to it. As someone pointed out elsewhere in this thread, there actually are medical benefits to the procedure, and that does muddy the waters. I discuss this is in greater detail in my article here: http://www.thepinkhumanist.com/news/back-issue-features/370-circumcision-regulation-not-prohibition

  • Stephen Moreton

    “Basic moral principles” – like preventing disease, reducing suffering and saving lives? The medical circ program in Africa, is set to avert millions of new HIV infections: https://www.malecircumcision.org/ . The infant circ program millions more by the end of this century (one gets a higher rate of uptake). You, on the other hand, would deny them this simple, safe and cheap procedure at the best possible time, thereby sacrificing the lives of millions, and condemning many more to illness and suffering, whilst burdening their blighted countries with $billions more in health care costs. And you have the chutzpah to lecture me about “basic moral principles”.

  • Anne Fenwick

    I think a logical fallacy requires that an argument be made, as opposed to an observation. Did you think I was making a point?

  • Raging Bee

    You can’t save lives without telling the lies you’ve told? You’ve already proven yourself a disgraceful lying sack of shit, with no respect for patient welfare, so nothing you say about saving lives ANYWHERE can be trusted.

  • Raging Bee

    As I said in another post, anecdotes are near worthless.

    No, they are not. No decent doctor would flatly disregard the word of any individual patient like you disregard the experiences of others.

  • Raging Bee

    “Personal anecdotes” do not trump peer-reviewed science.

    When we’re talking about the consequences of surgical procedures, yes, they do. You made a BLANKET assertion about a consequence of circumcision, and the direct personal experiences of others proves you wrong.

  • Stephen Moreton

    The idea that MMR causes autism is about as discredited as it is possible to get. Yet here is a personal anecdote that it does: https://www.learntherisk.org/stories/perfectly-healthy-until-the-mmr-vaccine-gabriels-story/ And it is not difficult to find others. So, by your “logic” MMR causes autism.
    The idea that homeopathic remedies have any effect at all beyond placebo is ludicrous, and rightly treated with scorn by the scientific community, with many high-quality papers showing it is nonsense. And yet glowing testimonials abound: https://www.findahomeopath.org/Testimonials Therefore, by your “logic” homeopathy works.
    One can repeat this exercise for almost any crank pseudomedical idea you care to name. For every discredited belief (power lines cause cancer, HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, and every quack snake-oil remedy you care to name) there are anecdotes in support. They are unreliable, unverifiable, and subject to all manner of psychological biases. And some are just made up.
    Anecdotes are for the gullible.

  • Raging Bee

    Whatever you may think of those who advocate for infant circ (and, outside of high-HIV settings I am not one of them)…

    Then why did you come here to take the side of someone who is? Why aren’t you calling him out for it?

    Once again, you’re obviously not being honest.

  • Raging Bee

    That’s a person judging another person’s condition with insufficient information. That is NOT the same as a patient reporting on how a particular body-part FEELS TO HIM. Your analogy is dishonest crap.

  • Raging Bee

    You’ve repeatedly lied about the effects of circumcision on sexual pleasure; and you repeatedly disregard basic medical ethics. You have no credibility.

  • Anne Fenwick

    Incidentally, I checked the paper you linked to. It’s true that male circumcision rates are quite variable in Europe: less than 1% in some countries, rather higher in others. I find it rather hard to account for the figure of 20% for the UK, although there are quite a high proportion of Muslims, Jews, and men from African cultures where circumcision is near universal. I don’t think that could account for more that 6-8% of people, plus the 4% of medical circumcisions (which is still too high), plus older men from times circumcision was more prevalent. Hmmm.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, when a patient is saying a particular body-part is valuable to him, you don’t get to tell him it isn’t, and no amount of scientific studies gives you any right or standing to do so. Once again, your analogy to someone’s opinion about vaccines is invalid — no one is telling that mom that any part of her or her baby’s body is useless or expendable.

  • Anne Fenwick

    You absolutely can’t prevent HIV with circumcisions. And for crying out loud, male circumcision is already a long-standing near-universal practice in a whole bunch of African countries with high HIV infection rates.

  • Mglass

    A prohibition on religious circumcision would face massive resistance, as happened in Iceland, Norway and Germany.

    There are, however, seven things that could be done to minimise the harm of circumcision. They would not stop most circumcisions, but they would prevent some really bad outcomes.

    1 A ban on unqualified people doing circumcisions. This should be a no brainer.

    2 Qualified but incompetent circumcisers should be banned from doing any more circumcisions.

    3 Dangerous traditional practices such as metzitzah b’peh (oral suction of the circumcision wound) should be discouraged by public education and other suitable measures.

    4 Before anyone is circumcised, an independent doctor must certify in writing that the person is free of any bleeding disorders and any other contra-indications and is strong enough to withstand the surgery. It is scandalous when bleeding disorders are discovered after a child’s life is endangered by uncontrolled bleeding after circumcision.

    5 Medical circumcision or other genital surgery should only be performed when other treatments (e.g., the use of steroid ointments for phimosis) have been tried and failed. https://www.cochrane.org/CD008973/RENAL_topical-corticosteroids-for-treating-phimosis-in-boys

    6 No child should be circumcised against the objection of a parent. The informed and written consent of both parents should be mandatory.

    7 If a man or an older child is forcibly circumcised against his will, this should be treated as a sexual assault, and the perpetrator prosecuted accordingly.

    These reforms wouldn’t be easy to enact, even though they wouldn’t interfere with most circumcisions. True, they don’t answer the ethical problem of circumcising young boys but they would reduce the medical risks of this operation and deal with other abuses.

  • richardsiwiec

    If it’s forced on a child permanently damaging there genitals it’s wrong period, if you think your modifying a child’s genitals for life without there personal consent your wrong . If your a woman promoting women’s rights and supporting cutting a child of any gender something really needs to be fixed.

  • Raging Bee

    All systematic reviews and a meta-analysis have found that sexual function, sensitivity and pleasure does not differ between circumcised and uncircumcised men.

    Specific anecdotes of men, describing their own experiences with sexual sensations, prove otherwise. “All systematic reviews and a meta-analysis” do not disprove the statements of uncircumcised men that they feel pleasure in their foreskins — and that fact alone is sufficient to disprove your blanket claim of “no difference.”

  • Raging Bee

    A person has described his own experiences, and you tried to override and deny it using an alleged majority opinion. That’s not something ANY real and honest doctor would do to any of his patients, and it could well expose you to a malpractice suit. You’re not a real or honest doctor, you’re just an unusually obnoxious charlatan with zero integrity.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Yes one absolutely can prevent female to male HIV transmission with medical circ (I emphasis MEDICAL) and that is now the scientific consensus. The latest meta-analyses indicate a 70 or 72 % relative risk reduction. That is comparable to the efficacy of flu vaccine against influenza. As a measure of how seriously it is being taken see here: https://www.malecircumcision.org/
    Circ inversely correlates very strongly with HIV in Africa. The few exceptions (which anti-circs love to point to) can be explained as due to unhygienic tribal circs (which actually spread HIV on contaminated blades) or other confounding factors: http://circfacts.org/medical-benefits/hivaids/#hiv5

  • Stephen Moreton

    Whether it was a “point” or an “observation” is irrelevant. So what if circ is common in one place, uncommon in another? Popularity (or unpopularity) of a practice has nothing to do with its merits (or lack thereof).

  • Stephen Moreton

    I can easily believe it is well over 20 % for the older generations, and (from what I’ve seen in my peers) it is about 20 % for my generation (I’m 56). Infant circ was popular up until the advent of the penny-pinching NHS. And long remained the first course of action when doctors encountered a boy with a tight foreskin. Nowadays in the UK infant circ is no longer fashionable, and doctors try conservative approaches first with tight foreskins, the scalpel being the last resort. So your lower estimate is probably reasonable for the younger generations. I guess 20 % is an overall average covering everybody from babes to pensioners.

  • Anne Fenwick

    A ‘logical fallacy’ is necessarily a thing that makes a logical point.

  • Mglass

    Richard, I stated clearly that my proposed reforms don’t answer the ethical problem of circumcising young boys. However, if you want to do something positive about circumcision the only practical route is to aim for harm minimisation.

    Harm minimisation techniques have reduced the incidence of smoking despite the determined resistance of Big Tobacco.

    Yes, it took decades to bring down the rates of smoking in the community, but they have come down.

    I suggest that you look once again at my proposals. I know they don’t go far enough to satisfy you, but I think they are the best that can be aimed for at the moment.

  • Broga

    When we have tackled circumcision and FGM a horrific procedure called “Breast Ironing” awaits. This agonising procedure is inflicted on young girls entering puberty to break down the outer layer of their breasts. This terrible procedure is rife and is intended to “protect girls from sexual contact” until some male decides it is time. Reported on the BBC World Service last night. Is anything being done to stop it? Or is Mrs May and co still too busy with Brexit.

  • Raging Bee

    At the very least, the public debate over such a legislative proposal would draw a decent amount of public attention to the issues; and show everyone that circumcision and its longstanding justifications are indeed being challenged, so people don’t have to just accept the old consensus anymore.

  • Raging Bee

    They don’t go far enough to satisfy me either; but hey, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  • Mythblaster

    “the ancient practice of metzitzah b’peh that requires a mohel, the person performing the circumcision, to suck blood from the incision on an infant’s penis.”

    First and foremost, that is the most vile and disgusting thing I’ve heard of in a long while (people really do that???), and secondly, I though Judaism prohibited eating weiners… even Vienna sausages. I guess if the kid’s not a porker, though, it makes everything OK…?

  • David Cromie

    As far as I remember, a non intact penis and testicles (‘stones’ in Leviticus) prohibits the person from participating in some Jewish rights/ceremonies, which seems to contradict the practice of circumcision, since the foreskin is part of an intact penis.

  • David Cromie

    Male genital mutilation should be outlawed, in the same way as female genital mutilation is legally prohibited.

  • David Cromie

    Tinkering at the edges is not a solution to genital mutilation.

  • David Cromie

    You talk a load of stupid BS. Does FGM have the same, or similar, ‘host of other benefits’ you claim for MGM?

  • Mglass

    * Activists in Iceland tried to ban childhood circumcision. They failed.
    * Activists in Sweden didn’t have the numbers to go for a ban but the compromise was to have circumcisions done under medical supervision. This proposal faced fierce resistance, but it succeeded.

    You might call this tinkering at the edges, but 0% of all is not as much as 100% of 0.1%.

  • Stephen Moreton

    “stupid BS” backed up by hundreds of peer-reviewed studies in the medical scientific literature. Just type “public health circumcision” into Pubmed and see for yourself. Or follow the link in my post above regarding HIV and circumcision. The “stupid BS” as you call it is now accepted as massively lifesaving in high-HIV settings. And no, FGM has few if any proven benefits, unlike male circ which really does have a host of benefits. You can quibble about whether those benefits are enough to justify it, and the answer may vary from country to country, but the benefits are very real, and evidence-based. And don’t call circ “MGM”. That is a fallacy of false equivalence (circ is not equivalent to FGM), as well as equivocation and appeal to emotion. It is also a false premise (circ is not “mutilation” in the usual sense of the word). Four fallacies rolled into one.
    http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog14
    http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog11
    http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog3

  • Stephen Moreton

    To put this revolting practice into perspective, it is only conducted by a small number of ultra-orthodox mohelim, and has been condemned by mainstream Jewish groups. In short, a minority within a minority. It is, however, an indication of why circ needs to be tightly regulated to ensure that if it is done, for whatever reason, it is done to a high medical standard. That does not preclude a mohel doing it, provided it is done properly and hygienically.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Medical male circumcision is not mutilation. http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog11

  • Stephen Moreton

    As I keep saying, medical male circumcision is not mutilation. http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog11

  • Stephen Moreton

    A decent doctor would also measure temperature, blood pressure, pulse … If my doctor relied on anecdote alone I’d look for another fast. Also, experienced doctors will know that people exaggerate or lie, whether for attention seeking, to get drugs, or to get a sick note. Anecdotes are hopelessly unreliable, and only a gullible fool would put anecdote before science.

  • Stephen Moreton

    You ignore the “debunkings” because you have not the courage or integrity to overcome your confirmation bias for once, step outside your little intactivist echo chamber, and try reading what the other side in the debate has to say. You remind me of a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses who turned up on my doorstep once. When I tried to point them to worthwhile reading they replied that they are not allowed to read materials not approved by their cult. Pathetic.

  • Stephen Moreton

    You don’t read “technical arguments”. It shows.

  • David Cromie

    Who says it is?

  • David Cromie

    Again, more BS opinion backed up with nothing one could take seriously as ‘science’.

    HIV/AIDS is transmitted by the exchange of bodily fluids, not foreskin cheese, and some people are carriers although not exhibiting the symptoms.

    Soap and warm water for cleansing the foreskin, frequently resorted to, should keep it clean.

    Teaching young boys to gently exercise their foreskins will obviate painful constriction during an erection later in life, thus one need for adult medical circumcision is usually avoided.

    Wearing a condom, if one is sleeping around, is strongly recommended.

    It seems that the proponents of MGM will latch on to any excuse to legitimise their irrational fear of the foreskin.

  • David Cromie

    It seems that yo are the one relying on confirmation bias.

  • David Cromie

    The fact is that ‘Sexual function, sensation and pleasure are all the same or better in an uncircumcised man’. The foreskin helps the glans from being desensitised by the friction on it caused by clothing.

  • David Cromie

    What does comparing circumcision with MMR achieve? Try comparing like with like. The fake medical reasons you cite for circumcision are comparable to selling snake-oil.

  • Raging Bee

    A decent doctor would also measure temperature, blood pressure, pulse …

    None or which would refute, or substitute for, a patient’s own description of his/her own feelings or symptoms.

    Also, experienced doctors will know that people exaggerate or lie,
    whether for attention seeking, to get drugs, or to get a sick note.

    None of which applies here.

  • Raging Bee

    We’ve read what you’ve had to say, and found it verifiably false. That’s why we’ve stopped taking you seriously. You can call us cowards all you want — we know you’re a liar, so your opinions and name-calling mean nothing.

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, and “a high medical standard” includes not doing permanent damage to any part of a patient’s body unless, and until, you’re sure there’s no other preventive measure with a reasonable chance of success.

    It also includes listening to experts who actually have integrity and give a shit about the actual patients’ welfare. And, sorry, but you’re ruled out on both counts.

  • Raging Bee

    By any meaningful definition of the phrase, it is.

  • Raging Bee

    MEDICAL circumcision means circumcision in response to clear and present medical necessity. ROUTINE circumcision, in the absence of such clear and present danger, is mutilation — just like cutting off a baby’s feet to prevent injuries due to running would be mutilation.

  • Stephen Moreton

    No one said HIV was spread by “foreskin cheese”. But the inside lining of the foreskin is a weak spot rich in langerhans cells that are targeted by HIV and which let the virus in. That removing the foreskin reduces the risk of female to male HIV transmission substantially is established science. Every medical body in the world accepts that, and it is consensus that in high-HIV settings it is vital to turning the epidemic around. No amount of denialism from you can change that. What is controversial is whether it is relevant for low-HIV settings. As for condoms, you will never get all men to use them, or use them consistently, or use them properly every time they do. And even when used consistently they are only about 80 % effective according to a Cochrane review, 71-77 % according to the latest meta-analysis. Circ is about 70 % effective. Use the two together to maximise protection.
    Trying to reason with you people is like trying to reason with creationists. You are too trapped in your own little echo chamber to ever venture outside and look at what the science actually says. Is there anything at all that would open your mind, or is it completely welded shut?

  • Stephen Moreton

    Inapplicable. It would only be argumentum ad populum if I was using the point to support circ. I was not. I was using it to illustrate that hating being circ’d is unusual (true) which begs the question why does he hate it? A perfectly reasonable question to ask. Your grasp of logic is as non-existent as your grasp of the medical facts.

  • Stephen Moreton

    In the usual sense “mutilation” means harm or disfigurement. Circ is neither, therefore it is not mutilation in the usual sense of the word. As for cutting off feet to prevent injuries during running, that is just absurd. You have no grasp of a risk/benefit analysis. And no grasp of how stupid you make yourself appear if that is the level of argument you scrape out of your barrel.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Who says it is what?
    “Mutilation” is usually taken to mean harm or disfigurement. Circ is neither, therefore it is not mutilation is the usual sense of the word. People who call it “mutilation” are just engaging in cheap emotional point-scoring.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Vaccination is also being challenged. That HIV causes AIDS is being challenged. Even that the earth is round is being challenged. Just because something is being challenged does not mean that the challenge has any scientific validity. And very often the people dong the challenging are nuts.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Medical circ does no permanent damage. As for experts with integrity, what about the teams of researchers from respected institutions the world over whose research forms the basis of the WHO and CDC’s program to circumcise as many African males as possible knowing that this will save tens of millions of them from HIV and other infections? See https://www.malecircumcision.org/
    Or perhaps you have in mind this bunch of liars, charlatans, zealots, bullies and know-nothings? http://circfacts.org/meet-the-intactivists/
    Or this bunch of liars? https://www.circumcisionchoice.com/single-post/IntactAmerica2
    Or these liars? http://circfacts.org/cyber-bullying/#cyber10
    Or this cult-leader who has twice been caught asking his followers to send him pics of their kids genitals? http://circfacts.org/cyber-bullying/#cyber5
    Or these anti-semites, some of whom celebrate the Holocaust? http://circfacts.org/cyber-bullying/#cyber3
    Or this quack? http://circfacts.org/blog/#blog2
    Or these so-called “experts” http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog12
    I could cite many more examples.

  • Stephen Moreton

    My original comments in italics, yours’ in normal script, my replies in CAPITALS.
    A decent doctor would also measure temperature, blood pressure, pulse …
    None or which would refute, or substitute for, a patient’s own description of his/her own feelings or symptoms. YES THEY COULD! IF AN OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT CONTRADICTS THE PATIENT’S STORY THEN THE PATIENT IS EITHER MISTAKEN OR LYING.
    Also, experienced doctors will know that people exaggerate or lie, whether for attention seeking, to get drugs, or to get a sick note.
    None of which applies here. OH NO? READ THE “DAVID J BERNSTEIN” STORY HERE: http://circfacts.org/cyber-bullying/#cyber10 AND HERE: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog22 AND THIS CASE IS NOT UNIQUE.

  • Stephen Moreton

    I doubt you have read any of the links I provided, and you certainly have not refuted a single one of the scientific studies contradicting you. And you are the one doing the name-calling.

  • Raging Bee

    Medical circ does no permanent damage.

    Do you really think that denying obvious verifiable facts gets you anywhere here?

  • Raging Bee

    Yes, you did use that point to support circumcision. And now you’re lying about your own words, when your words are still up here for all to see? Who do you think you’re fooling? Are you even sane enough to understand what you’re saying? Or are you so emotionally invested in your pet cause that you’re no longer able to see how dishonest and irrational you’ve become?

  • Raging Bee

    So what “objective measurement” contradicts a patient’s story when he’s talking about physical sensations he’s feeling, or not feeling, in his own body? No half-decent doctor would EVER tell a patient that “science proves” he’s not feeling what he says he’s feeling.

    Your inexcusably callous disregard for the interests and welfare of patients as real people, is more than enough to discredit you as a reliable source on any medical matter — even without your blatant lying about the consequences of circumcision.

  • Raging Bee

    From the article YOU just cited above:

    In the broadest possible sense, circumcision could be branded“amputation” in that it permanently removes a part of the body. But then so do tooth extractions and tonsillectomies.

    Neither of which are done to anyone without clear and present medical necessity — because that would be mutilation, which is both a serious crime and a violation of basic medical ethics.

    Your arguments aren’t even supported by the articles you yourself cite. You’re nothing but a liar and a charlatan.

  • David Cromie

    ‘Harmless’

  • David Cromie

    You seem not to understand when to use the Argumentum ad Populum fallacy accusation correctly.

  • Georgia Sam

    Nor the phrase “beg the question.”

  • Raging Bee

    And other times, the people being challenged are nuts.

  • Raging Bee

    That removing the foreskin reduces the risk of female to male HIV
    transmission substantially is established science. Every medical body
    in the world accepts that, and it is consensus that in high-HIV settings
    it is vital to turning the epidemic around.

    Really? Female-to-male HIV transmission is pretty rare compared to male-to-female and especially male-to-male. If all circumcision does is slow down female-to-male transmission, that won’t be nearly enough to “turn the epidemic around.”

  • Hermit

    Absolute tosh of the first water.

    Why were you not subjected to encephalectomy at birth? After all, you don’t appear to use your brain and it would prevent brain tumors. The answer is for the same reason that we do not perform radical bilateral mastectomies on neonatal females to prevent breast cancer. Because we do not remove healthy tissue to prevent slippery slope arguments.

    Removing half the nervous tissue of the penis, usually including the frenulum as well as the foreskin and ensuring a lifetime of desiccation of the corona is not how to improve sex, indeed the reason that infant male genital mutilation became popular in the US was because it reduced masturbation and its alleged dangers. Those arguing for the right to perform genital mutilationon girl’s made similar wrong minded and bizarre arguments.

    In addition, simply wearing a condom provides far more benefits than all those alleged for male genital mutilation.

  • Hermit

    Absolute tosh of the first water.

    Why were you not subjected to encephalectomy at birth? After all, you don’t appear to use your brain and it would prevent brain tumors. The answer is for the same reason that we do not perform radical bilateral mastectomies on neonatal females to prevent breast cancer. Because we do not remove healthy tissue to prevent slippery slope arguments.

    Removing half the nervous tissue of the penis, usually including the frenulum as well as the foreskin and ensuring a lifetime of desiccation of the corona is not how to improve sex, indeed the reason that infant male genital mutilation became popular in the US was because it reduced masturbation and its alleged dangers. Those arguing for the right to perform genital mutilationon girl’s made similar wrong minded and bizarre arguments.

    In addition, simply wearing a condom provides far more benefits than all those alleged for male genital mutilation.

  • Hermit

    As with “research” supporting female genital mutilation, when your “researchers” have no foreskin, the results are more likely a product of “confirmation bias” as is also the case at institutions paid large amounts of money to purchase discarded foreskins for research purposes and the production of drugs. Researchers in this field should have to provide certified photographic evidence of priapus intactus as a basic qualification. The Danish College of General Practitioners states that circumcision should “only [be performed] when medically indicated, otherwise it is a case of mutilation.” [https://www.dsam.dk/flx/organisation/bestyrelse/referater/dagsorden_05122013//?Highlight=omsk%E6ring#flxElm_3725] Most medical bodies who have evaluated routine infant male genital mutilation emphasize that there is no medical justification for this barbaric practice, and only refrain from a total ban due to concern that rejection would drive it underground where more infants might be killed or harmed by “traditional” practices than is already the case.

    My position is that parents have a duty to protect their children from brutal sexual assaults, no matter who engages in them, and a mutilated penis without a medical justification should be grounds for the state to intervene, subject the parents to sanctions and rehome any children in the household for their own protection,

  • Hermit

    Guess who did an internet search massively loaded with confirmatory bias. Maybe the Mohel sucking his dick in metzitzah b’peh removed his brain at the same time.

    When the primary author of the paper you plagiarize* is Benjamin Morris, you are probably unlikely to find him denigrating the effects of infant male genital mutilation. And we don’t.

    *Morris B.J., Wamai R.G. (2012). Biological basis for the protective effect conferred by malecircumcision against HIV infection. International Journal of STD & AIDS 23: 153–159. DOI: 10.1258/ijsa.2011.011228

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, the circumfetishists ADMIT that wearing a condom is about as effective as circumcision at preventing the spread of HIV (and we all know condoms work in more different circumstances than mere circumcision does as well); but then they just insist everyone do both, just to be sure.

  • Sophotroph

    Oh, come off it! What’s the big deal? It’ll grow back.

    …right?

  • Sophotroph

    Of course it’s disfigurement.

    Compare cut to uncut. Not exactly a difference you’re going to miss. That you don’t have a problem with it is immaterial.

  • Sophotroph

    The study he’s butchering compares cut vs uncut men who do not wash after unprotected sex with an HIV positive mate.

    The benefits of circumcision can be gained by anyone with a foreskin and access to soap and water.

    This is the desperation we’re dealing with here, that lies this flimsy are used to defend the practice.

    I mean, just coming out and saying “I can’t feel safe unless God owns everybody’s weewees!” has to be pretty embarassing, so I guess I see why they do it.

  • Raging Bee

    So maybe we should do more to make sure people in certain areas have more access to soap and potable water? Oh wait, that’s really expensive and making poor people less poor is a threat to stability and order…let’s stick with the cheaper authoritarian solution that doesn’t give people ideas about autonomy and rights…yeah, that’s it…

  • Raging Bee

    All you ever do is repeat the same obvious lies that can easily be debunked from first-hand experience, and cite ONE COUNT IT ONE source over and over again. You have no credibility.

    Also, your fellow circumfetishist Stephen Moreton has at least pretended to disagree with you about universal circumcision of all baby boys. I don’t see you two arguing about that point, which leads me to believe at least one of you is not being honest about your opinions.

    btw: That preventive mastectomy you’re referring to is done VOLUNTARILY by ADULT women, so that’s totally irrelevant to your dishonest axe-grinding about the assembly-line mutilation of babies.

  • Stephen Moreton

    If circumcision is “disfigurement” how come majorities prefer the circumcised look?

    77 % of women and 80 % of men considered the circumcised member to be better in appearance, in a study in Kenya: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22711723

    83 % of gay men thought the circumcised organ looks better, in a study from Columbia: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22917475

    Health care workers and parents thought that the circumcised member was “aesthetically pleasing”, in a study in Zimbabwe: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27413084

    “Participants consistently described MC as more sexually desirable to women because of increased virility and a more attractive penis”, in a study in Tanzania: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25276521

    94.8 % of men were “very satisfied with post-circumcision appearance of the penis”, in a study in Kenya & Zambia: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162816

    Participants in a study in Botswana reported better self-esteem about the appearance of their penis after circumcision: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26754167

    Improved penile appearance was cited as a (minor) reason to get circumcised by Chinese men: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0030198

    99 % of men circumcised in the course of a study in Kenya were “satisfied with the appearance of their penis”: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0095357

    In a survey of U.S. women, 90 % thought the circumcised member “looks sexier”: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01614576.1988.11074930

  • Stephen Moreton

    “Half the nervous tissue”? Citation needed. And make it a credible one please, i.e. proper peer-reviewed science published in a reputable journal, not some biased opinion piece off some anti-circ website.

    The masturbation myth is exposed here: https://www.circumcisionchoice.com/single-post/Kellogg as well as being an example of the genetic fallacy: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog17

    Condoms are only about 80 % effective according to a Cochrane review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869658 71-77 % according to the latest meta-analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26488070 And that is for consistent use. In practice they are just not working: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24163112 Something more is needed, and in high-HIV settings that something more is circumcision. This is consensus amongst all professional bodies dealing with the epidemic: https://www.malecircumcision.org/resources/clearinghouse-partners-and-contributors

    The comparison with removing breasts is moronic: http://circfacts.org/debunking-corner/#debk3 as well as being a fallacy of false equivalence: http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog14

  • Stephen Moreton

    Then explain women who support circ in the battle against HIV, including women from non-circumcising cultures? Prof. Catherine Hankins and HIV epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani come to mind. And explain why it was a French team (from a non-circumcising culture) who were first to publish a RCT confirming circ’s protective effect against HIV? And why so many Chinese workers have now joining in with many articles extolling circ’s benefits, even in China? They even invented the Shang ring device for sutureless circumcisions.
    As for medical bodies, well of course all of them are opposed to “routine infant male genital mutilation”. So am I. I deplore any sort of infant mutilation. But, as circ is NOT “mutilation” your claim is irrelevant. ALL medical bodies, no exceptions, accept the need for circ in high-HIV settings. In low HIV settings they are divided, but any 3 have actually attempted anything like a systematic review of the all the available evidence. Two (the AAP & CDC) came out in favour (though stopping short of saying it should be routine). The other (the Canadian Pediatric Soc) was more neutral. No other bodies have attempted a systematic review, and their positions are often ideological, rather than evidence based. You cite the Danes, and provide an irrelevant link that says’ nothing about circ. I challenge you to find a systematic review by them of ALL the best literature that matches in scope that of the AAP here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/3/e756

  • Stephen Moreton

    His name is Brian Morris, and he is an atheist.
    I plagiarize nothing, I just report the evidence.
    I have well over a thousand papers on circ., including the one you cite. Just type “circumcision public health” or “circumcision HIV” into PubMed and see how many are out there. The overwhelming majority favour the procedure, or are neutral. Very few are anti. I am only following the science.

  • Stephen Moreton

    In Africa HIV is, and has always been, mostly heterosexually transmitted. It is true that male to female transmission is easier than female to male, but not by much. See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543106/ And nobody suggests circ has much to offer regarding male to male transmission (although there is about a 20 % relative risk reduction for the active partner: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29232046 ). On its own circ is not enough, but that is true also of all other approaches (condoms, ART etc.). But when combined they do work, and where circ is being rolled out HIV incidence is falling, and it is falling faster in men as it protects them directly:
    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001509
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30020940
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1702150
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27404186

  • Stephen Moreton

    Got any evidence that washing after unprotected sex makes much difference to HIV transmission? Citation please!

  • Raging Bee

    If circumcision is “disfigurement” how come majorities prefer the circumcised look?

    Because that’s what’s “normal” in countries where circumcision is routine. The same would apply if, say, everybody had their left pinkies cut off at birth. None of that justifies non-consensual mutilation of ANY body parts without direct medical necessity.

    There’s a central issue of medical ethics and bodily autonomy in play here, which you’re obviously avoiding like the plague. You’re really not fooling anyone.

  • Raging Bee

    Your citation about “the masturbation myth” DISPROVES your argument. Here’s a direct quote from the article YOU cited:

    DID [Kellogg] PROMOTE CIRCUMCISION TO PREVENT MASTURBATION? Yes…

    So this means you know, and have known all along, that circumcision was, indeed, promoted for the stated purpose of degrading boys’ ability to experience sexual pleasure; and yet you knowingly repeated the lie that circumcision had no such effect. In fact, the article you yourself cited explicitly said Kellogg advocated circumcision as a means of torture and punishment.

    Oh, and remember when you said Kellogg didn’t advocate routine circumcision of baby boys? Turns out you lied about that too. Here’s the proof from YOUR CITATION:

    A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision,
    especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should
    be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the
    brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the
    mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment
    , as it
    may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several
    weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too
    firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. [4]

    You’re a liar three times over on this issue alone. Go crawl back under your rock, charlatan.

  • Raging Bee

    Then explain women who support circ in the battle against HIV, including women from non-circumcising cultures?

    Because authoritarian dirtballs like you refuse to spend more money on other, more effective, less authoritarian options?

  • Raging Bee

    Condoms are only about 80 % effective according to a Cochrane review…

    So you’re finally admitting that condoms are AT LEAST as effective as circumcision, without the permanent mutilation. And we already know that condoms are effective in MORE WAYS than circumcision at preventing the spread of HIV. That alone is good enough reason to scrap circumcision.

  • Raging Bee

    After all the lies you’ve told, and continue to tell after they’ve been shown to be lies; and after all the callous disregard you’ve shown for patients’ interests and basic rights; you don’t get to claim you’re “only following the science.” You’re an ethically-bankrupt fraud.

  • Stephen Moreton

    Many of the studies I cited were conducted in non-circumcising cultures, or were of people with experience of both kinds of organ.

  • Stephen Moreton

    I never denied that condoms have some efficacy, but if you would bother to read what I write it would be clear that condoms alone are not enough. Elsewhere in this thread I post links to studies showing that in high-HIV settings condoms are not working, but circ is.

  • Raging Bee

    That still doesn’t justify mutilation. It’s perfectly obvious you’re tossing more irrelevant points into the debate to distract attention from the central issue of medical ethics, bodily autonomy, and respect for the needs of patients as people.

  • Stephen Moreton

    You distort the article. Kellogg saw circ as a CURE for masturbation, and recommended it for boys indulging in the habit. He did not recommend routine infant circ for any reason, including preventing masturbation. He said “small boys”. He did not say “infants” or “babies”. And he did not say “routine” or anything similar. In your desperation to brand me a liar you are misrepresenting Kellogg. Misrepresentation is a form of lying, how ironic.
    You ignore the lines “Kellogg never promoted routine circumcision of all boys, and he had no interest in performing the procedure on infants” and “Kellogg’s sadistic advice was largely ignored.” Both of which support what I was saying – Kellogg did not promote infant circ, routine or otherwise, and his views never gained wide acceptance.
    As the article explains, it was the health benefits that led to circ’s popularity in the US, particularly following WW1 when men returning from the trenches had problems in the penile department.
    Now kindly read my citations properly, do not misrepresent, do not ignore things that don’t suit you, and stop calling me names. You are just being dishonest yourself, and abusive, and childish. Try addressing the evidence instead – or is that too difficult for you?

  • Stephen Moreton

    Billions have been spent on abstinence and condoms. They have failed. Billions wasted. In contrast circ works. The reason those who support it do so is because the science is overwhelming, leaving deniers like you with nothing else but insults and abuse.

  • Raging Bee

    Then why do you have to lie about it?

  • Raging Bee

    He said “small boys”. He did not say “infants” or “babies”…

    That distinction means absolutely nothing here, and you know it. Neither do any of your other flailing, handwaving quibbles over what words he used. You know that circumcision was used, and openly advocated, as a means to impair sexual pleasure and deter masturbation; and you still knowingly lie when you claim circumcision does no such thing. You still have no credibility.

  • Hermit

    Taylor J.R., Lockwood A.P., Taylor A.J. (1996-02). The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. British Journal of Urology, Volume 77, Pages 291-295,

    Your mischaracterization of Kellogg, a delusional religiot and sadist who advocated genital mutilation as “punishment” for masturbation, who was widely acknowledged in his own time as the leader of the “antionanism” brigade, apparently missed the point that he acknowledged that circumcision does more harm than good, “It is doubtful, however, whether as much harm as good does not result from circumcision, since it has been shown by extensive observation among the Jews that very great contraction of the meatus, or external orifice of the urethra, is exceedingly common among them,being undoubtedly the result of the prolonged irritation and subsequent cicatricial contraction resulting from circumcision in infancy.” [J.H. Kellogg, Plain facts for young and old: Embracing the natural history of hygiene and organic life, 2nd edition, Burlington (Iowa), 1888. https://archive.org/details/plainfaorold00kell]

    Condoms are not “only 80% effective” as you put it, they resulted in ” an homogeneous HIV incidence estimate of 1.14 [95% C.I.:.56, 2.04] per 100 person-years” or 80% more effective than relying on luck ( 5.75 [95% C.I.: 3.16, 9.66] per 100 person-years), demonstrating a complete lack of statistical competence, total disregard for accuracy, or some noxious combination on your part.

    “Something more is needed, and in high-HIV settings that something more is circumcision”, yet the study you cite claims that “Male circumcision reduces the risk of infection with HIV-1 from female sexual partners by more than twofold, according to a study of Kenyan men published in the 15th February edition of The Journal of Infectious Diseases.” That would be a lower reduction than using a condom, completely invalidating your assertions.

    More horsepucky. Your cite claims, but utterly fails to support its assertion that “A favourite argument amongst intactivists is to compare circumcision with the removal of some other body part. They then ask why we don’t prophylactically remove those other body parts. In every case the argument is absurd, being based on the fallacy of false equivalence (http://circfacts.org/sloppy-logic/#slog13). It is likely that circumcision is unique…”

    You appear to be confirming that you did receive brain damage along with genital mutilation.

  • Hermit

    Thanks for the correction. Next you will tell us that you have personally inspected the atheist Brian Morris’ penis, and unlike other atheist Jews, found him to be intact?

    Quoting without providing a source is plagiarism.

    When you remove the US. Israeli and Islamic sources, and papers written after 2000 the numbers dwindle to nothing, whiooch is what you would expect from confirmation bias alone.

  • Hermit

    Actually .

    Note that the HIV infection rate among uncircumscribed men who delayed washing until 10 minutes or more after sex was 0.4%. Not much of a risk at all for people not regularly having sex with HIV positive partners.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Oy Vey, it is not just Jewish male babies who are circumcised. It is virtually done when every male child is born. Years ago we gave the baby some whiskey in a gauze wrapped sugar cube to suck upon. That is frowned upon today, poor kid.
    He was quiet, with that whiskey cube of sugar and the penis was wrapped in Vaseline gauze, and it healed rapidly. When he was sexually active, usually as a teen, his pecker was cleaner and more pleasant to view for his partner.
    Since most intelligent women make use of the various contraceptive devices, patch, IUD, tubal ligation, diaphragm, the three month shot, or contraceptive tube inserted into the arm, because they do not trust males to use any form of contraception, as males do not become pregnant, the male’s penis is not covered, and it is much, much easier to keep clean if he is circumcised.
    Most males and all females are very glad that a circumcision was done. To have this done as an adult, is very painful, as, DUH, there is more skin to cut.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Scrap a procedure that at least helps prevent infection? I do not mean HIV, I mean PID, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, the unclean penis can cause the woman to have a severe infection that affects her tubes, ovaries, and even her abdominal cavity. Use some common sense. If the woman has an IUD and her partner does not need to use a condom, since they are monogamous, she can contract an infection from him if he has not kept his penis clean!!! It is easier to keep that pecker clean if he has been circumcised. Just think and use some common sense. If you have a baby boy, have him circumcised shortly after his birth. If you are Jewish, it is a ritual. Years ago, as a student nurse, I was asked to witness several circumcisions, as moms stayed in the hospital for at least eight days. It was great, there was wine, food, and a good time for all, the Jewish faith calls this a “Bris,” and it is a day of celebration.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    I will bet that all males masturbate, whether or not they are circumcised. LMAO! Moms and dads may “think” that it deters masturbation, but bet that they used that technique as it feels good. They will not admit to that fact.

  • Mark

    I’ve been travelling for a few days, and there are several messages here I’d like to reply to if I have time. There are some blatant untruths here though.

    1) “It is virtually done when every male child is born.” Around two thirds of the world’s men never get circumcised. Of the ones that are circumcised, only around 12% were circumcised as babies.

    2) Giving a baby whiskey (Jewish people actually usually used wine) is a bad idea for the same reasons that giving any young child alcohol is. Would you want to be circumcised with sugar and whiskey for pain relief?
    Pubmed 11674912 found that “Concentrated glucose administered orally does not provide significant analgesia in neonatal circumcision”
    doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61303-7 found that “sugar water” doesn’t work.

    3) “Cleaner”?? “much much easier to keep clean”?? How much easier does it need to be?
    Female genitals are harder to clean than male genitals, and they get way more infections down there, but we wouldn’t cut parts off baby girls. Hygiene is about washing, not surgery.

    4) “more pleasant to view for his partner”?? “all females are very glad that a circumcision was done” Many women prefer intact, especially when they’re tried both. Conversely, there are countries where most men prefer their women cut, but that doesn’t justify cutting girls. If you look up the galleries of botched jobs, one thing that may surprise you is just how many jobs were botched cosmetically, rather than medically. Skin tags, skin bridges, sideways curvature, and hair growing half way up the shaft are not normal, but would not be counted as medical complications.

    5) “To have this done as an adult, is very painful, as, DUH, there is more skin to cut.” To have it done as a baby is very painful as, DUH, you can’t use general anesthetic, and DUH, the foreskin has to be separated from the glans (the most painful part – if you wait, they separate naturally, usually by around puberty.)

  • Raging Bee

    Use some common sense? Okay, how about we teach boys and men how to wash their private parts properly? Just tell ’em what the alternative is, and I guarantee you’ll see at least 98% compliance in a heartbeat!

  • Raging Bee

    His name is Brian Morris, and he is an atheist.

    Okay, you’ve admitted you know of him. So do you agree with his recommendation of universal circumcision of all baby boys? Yes or no?

  • Raging Bee

    Re: your point #4: botched ops are a HUGE problem with any procedure that’s required as a standard policy, regardless of patient interests or needs. First, more instances of a certain procedure inevitably mean more mistakes. And second, and far more important, if a procedure is required for all of a general population, that means: a) it will be done as an assembly-line process; b) the people doing it won’t care as much about quality, because it’s a standard required procedure and they can’t be bothered with individual patient complaints or unique characteristics; and c) victims of malpractice will have far less leeway to sue, because it was required and therefore the people doing it were only following orders.

    This isn’t such a huge issue when we’re talking about vaccinations — but when it’s a surgical procedure that removes and destroys a functioning body part, you have a grand-scale malpractice problem rising to the level of an atrocity.

  • Raging Bee

    “Half the nervous tissue”? Citation needed.

    Many uncut men say they have a lot of sensitivity in their foreskins. That’s all the citation you need.

  • Hermit

    We do not sacrifice the first born to the Elohim since the Greeks taught the Canaanites better. Infant genital mutilation is not acceptable either, being a betrayal of the duty of care owed to children.

    No, it is not “virtually done when every male child is born”. Never has been, never will be. The only places left that engage in sexual abuse of infants through genital mutilation on any significant scale are those occupied by delusional religiots (Jewish and Islam) and in the USA. Fortunately, even in the USA, infant genital mutilation is on the decline, having dropped from over 80% to less than 50% as parents learn about the issues related to.this barbaric practice.

    I cannot imagine a more horrible mental image than involvement with somebody who does not keep themselves clean because they have genital mutilation that leaves their penis rough and dry. All children should be taught to keep themselves free of bad smelling epithelial fauna and flora, there is no need to resort for surgery for that.

    In healthcare I have seen hundreds of penises, almost all of them unmutilated. I feel very sorry for the poor men who have been mutilate, even if they do not know what they are missing, and I completely disagree that the mutilated penis looks better, There is nothing attractive about, as Stormy Daniels described it, “a d-ck like the mushroom character in ‘Mario Kart.'”

    When an adult is forced, or chooses to amputate the prepuce (and probably more), medical staff will recommend counseling from a competent practitioner to prepare them for the significant differences that will follow, but that will almost always involve a patient with agency providing informed consent. Not a betrayal of their trust by the parents or guardians of an infant.

    I look forward to the day when courts acknowledge that children have a right to sue the parents and guardians, medical providers, hospitals, religious organizations and insurance companies engaged in this class of sexual abuse and award suitable compensation and damages, because that will end the practice forever. Simply pleading that many people engage in this practice does not excuse it in the slightest.

  • Hermit

    There is no link to your Disqus identity at http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/brian.morris.php

    Please confirm there that this is your Disqus identity, as the language usage of a number of the posts made on your Disqus timeline do not reflect the basic competence in academic English one would normally anticipate from a PhD, leading to suspicion that this avatar may not actually be operated by the Brian Morris identified there Thanks in advance.

  • David Cromie

    Your taste in penis appearance is beside the point, and nothing to do with the OP.

  • David Cromie

    Seems to be another case of the Argumentum ad Populum fallacy. The fact that Morris is an atheist is beside the point. What is to the point is that the world’s largest population of people living with HIV/AIDS occurs in Africa, and that includes men. women, and children, and this can be accounted for, in large part, by religiots banning the use of condoms, because ‘sinful’, and knowingly lying about their efficacy by claiming they are useless against the virus, being riddled with holes through which the virus escapes. This tissue of lies was accompanied by the claim that HIV/AIDS/ was ‘god’s’ punishment for ‘sin’ (and not just in Africa, but worldwide).

    Do the proponents of circumcision hold that only the wholesale removal of foreskins will rid Africa, and the rest of the world, of HIV/AIDS, while safer sex practices will only have a nugatory influence on outcomes?

    It should be noticed that the more successful medical treatments for HIV/AIDS has led to the worrying fact that some people (mostly the younger sexually active) are ignoring safer sex recommendations, and thus there is a tendency for rising rates of infection being recorded in recent years in the UK. A campaign of education in schools on these matters, and on sexual activity generally, is greatly needed, in spite of the opposition of religiots and others.

    I suppose humans could evolve to be immune to the HIV/AIDS virus in the end, but by then we will all be dead, whether circumcised or not.

  • David Cromie

    The fallacious ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’, if we were to take these people seriously?

  • David Cromie

    No, safer sex and free condoms has been very effective in the UK (abstinence and circumcision were nowhere in sight), and effective medical treatment for those living with HIV/AIDS, eventually won the day.

  • Raging Bee

    What are you doing that’s useful? NONE of your stated competencies have any direct bearing on male sexual health, and neither do any of your listed grants. You’re WAAAAY out of your depth when you blither about circumcision here, and it shows.

  • Raging Bee

    As long as we’re confirming identities, here’s something about Morris in the comment section of an Economist article:

    https://www.economist.com/node/21562169/comments

    Relevant quote (one of many, seriously, read the whole thing!):

    Brian Morris is NOT a physiologist but is a professor in molecular sciences. He is not a medical doctor of any kind. He is not a surgeon, nor a urologist, nor a pediatrician. He is a known circumcision advocate who belonged to the Gilgal Society, which published circumcision-based erotica, and whose founder, Vernon Quaintance, was caught with many hours of child pornography. He and his “colleagues” have since tried to sever ties with Gilgal Society, forming what is known today as the Circumcision Society of Australia, or something to that effect. They are nothing but a club for circumcision advocates and can only wish their word was of any caliber comparable to a professional medical board like the AAP. In Australia, where Brian Morris originates, he has been snubbed by the Royal Australian College of Physicians, and rightly so.

    Other comments tear into his misuse of statistics, and of course, remind us of the most basic principles of medical ethics, which routine circumcision blatantly violates. This Morris guy is a very…INTERESTING character…

  • Raging Bee

    And here’s another article debunking the circumfetishists at some length:

    https://www.skeptic.org.uk/magazine/onlinearticles/infant-circumcision/

  • Raging Bee

    And here’s a nice quote from the Skeptic article about circumcision and UTIs:

    To further understand why ‘science’ is only part of the picture, consider the example of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Since these are the only one of Morris’s list of potential maladies that are even theoretically relevant to infants,21 they are worth looking at a little bit more closely. Citing one of his own articles, Morris claims that “neonatal circumcision confers 10-fold protection against UTIs.” A recent Cochrane Review[27] found no reliable evidence that infant circumcision does in fact protect against UTIs, but let us go along with Morris for the moment. As Benatar and Benatar[28] explain, it is not enough to establish “an increased risk of UTI among uncircumcised boys” because the actual “significance [i.e., clinical importance] of this risk needs to be assessed” in a proper context.

    The proper context is this: the “10-fold” difference in incidence of UTI is what you get when you divide two very small percentages against each other: 0.15% (for circumcised boys) and 1.5% (for intact boys). In both cases, rates are low. As the Benatars28 explain, this is the same thing as saying that “UTI does not occur in 99.85% of circumcised infant males and in 98.5% of un-circumcised infant boys.” In the rare event that some unlucky child does in fact become infected, UTIs are both “easily diagnosed and treatable, with low morbidity and mortality.”

  • Raging Bee

    Well, since you’re insisting you have no incentive to lie, why don’t you tell us about the Gilgal Society?

  • Raging Bee

    Maybe they just re-interpreted “intact” to mean what they wanted it to mean. That’s what present-day circumfetishists are doing, so it’s reasonable to guess that earlier religious leaders would do the same…

  • Hermit

    Anyone who has sex with a dirty person, whether or not they have a mutilated penis, is an idiot and deserves what they get.

  • Hermit

    Lovely. Makes perfect sense. Whether or not this clown is an imposter.

  • Hermit

    It is the work of a moment to correct your page, so your refusal appears to confirm the fact that you are probably an imposter who picked a really nasty and delusional piece of work from whom to steal an identity, making you stupid as well as delusional and nasty. You might have had more credibility if you had stolen the identity of a non-native English speaker with, at best, undergraduate level English competency.

  • Raging Bee

    Moreton is even worse, at least WRT stated qualifications. On another blog thread, he describes himself with the totally vague title of “scientist.” Nothing even as specific as Morris’s resume, let alone anything directly relevant to the specific medical issues in play in this debate.

    I’m beginning to think Moreton plays the same role for circumcision as Bill Donohue does for the Catholic Church: a self-appointed spokesperson barging into adult conversations with a fire-hose torrent of obfuscation, Gish-gallops, dodgy numbers, and outright lies; and who gets away with it mainly because others in his camp know they need his fanatical bullshitting because they really have nothing else to justify their cause.

  • Raging Bee

    Others have stated that you were a MEMBER of the Gilgal Society, and that you had to remove certain bits from your Web presence after people started talking about how totally sick (and, um, unscientific) they were. Not surprised to see you waffling and dancing around the subject now…

  • Raging Bee

    First you say a medical procedure has to be done “to a high medical standard.” Then you turn around and say it’s okay for amateurs to do it. That’s not a “high medical standard.”

    Oh, and speaking of medical standards, you’re not a doctor, you’re not a surgeon, or a urologist, or a pediatrician, and you have absolutely ZERO demonstrated expertise or experience in ANY field of medicine related to circumcision. And it shows: you obviously have no clue, and just as clearly don’t even care, how medicine even works, or what doctors are actually supposed to do with regard to their patients. You’re not even remotely qualified to give medical advice to anyone anywhere. Do you even have a job?

  • Hermit

    All over the world where they have been available, actually.

    They are only unavailable in some places because of capitalism and religion. The two greatest scourges of the modern world.

  • Raging Bee

    Citation required.

  • Jhon Murdock

    Check out this video with Law Pofessor Peter Adler including the comments section where he responds to some of the viewer questiones. His legal strategy under US law avoids the consent issue as well as whether circumcision is legal or not. Perpetrating an unnecessary surgery constitutes a breech of the physician’s Fiduciary Duty to his patient. Offenders are personally liable to paying financial compensation to their victims. Doctors will begin to listen when it is their bank accounts that are being addressed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiaL56JHKsA

  • Falkner09

    No one had any right to remove my foreskin at birth. Every day Of my life I have suyffered knowing I cannot be whole, in all my most personal moments. The vast majority of the medical organizations in the world are opposed to circumcision. This includes:
    College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia,
    British Medical Association,
    Swedish Pediatric Society,
    Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations,
    British Association of Pediatric Urologists,
    Royal Dutch Medical Society,
    The Netherlands Society of General Practitioners,
    The Netherlands Society of Youth Healthcare Physicians,
    The Netherlands Association of Paediatric Surgeons,
    The Netherlands Association of Plastic Surgeons,
    The Netherlands Association for Paediatric Medicine,
    The Netherlands Urology Association,
    The Netherlands Surgeons’ Association,
    Royal College of Surgeons of England,
    German Society for Pediatric Urology,
    Royal Australasian College of Physicians,
    Royal Australasian College of Surgeons,
    Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons,
    Australian Medical Association,
    The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan,
    Saskatchewan Medical Association,
    Norwegian Medical Association,
    Norwegian Nurses Organization,
    Norwegian Ombudsman for Children,
    Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo,
    Norwegian Council for Medical Ethics,
    Central Union for Child Welfare in Finland,
    Denmark National Council for Children,
    German Association of Pediatricians,
    French National Council on AIDS,

  • P. McCoy

    You really THINK that a horny MALE is going to take 5, or 2 let alone 10 minutes to clean his uncut penis thoroughly before jumping a female?

    That is a fantasy! Gm on the otherhand totally excises the clitoris making sex painful to the point of not being able to have it besides causing other painful disabilities including walking. Surgical removal of skin hiding foul, disgusting smegna doesn’t render a MAN from having sex- except in HIS MIND!

  • Raging Bee

    If a man thinks a clean dick will increase his chances of getting laid (and if he’s aware of the possible consequences of not taking care of himself), then yes, he WILL be likely to clean his dick. Us guys aren’t as shortsighted as you seem to think we are, even when we are horny.

  • Raging Bee

    After all the falsehoods you spouted here, your word is just plain worthless. And no, bragging about the popularity of a book that was written to support a pre-existing belief doesn’t make you any more credible.

    And you’re still spouting medical advice when you yourself have absolutely ZERO relevant qualification, training, or experience in any of the fields directly related to circumcision. That’s pretty dishonest in itself, as is your disregard for basic principles of medical ethics and patient relations.

  • David Cromie

    Don’t trailer trash have access to soap and water? In any case, smegma does not spread HIV/AIDS. Are you a fan of FGM also?

  • David Cromie

    Unscientific BS, no matter how popular, is still BS – just look at the spread of christianity, and its ‘handbook’ full of myths, legends, and folklore.

  • P. McCoy

    You tell ME, since a:you’re Male and b: probably are more acquainted with “trailer trash” than I AM!
    If you hadn’t wasted your time trying to insult me, you would have read about what FGM or essentially Clitorectomies DO to women- disable and nearly destroy the reproductive and urinary systems of females. Circumcisions done in Western hospitals or most 1st.and 2nd world don’t destroy those systems in Males and do not include any rituals by people who suck blood off the tip of an infant’s penis either!

    So attempts at Anti semitism or unscientific explanations to discourage circumcision are as false as the anti vaxxers movement.

  • Mark

    The worst forms of female genital cutting are unquestionably worse than the usual form of western male circumcision, but the worst forms of male circumcision are also far worse than the lesser forms of female cutting, many of which don’t even touch the clitoris. 453 males *died* of circumcision in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in a seven year period, and there were also 214 penile amputations.

    Search for “ulwaluko” for gruesome photos of the results.

    Compare that with this: tiny url zahras-circumcision

    Why would the procedure in that link be illegal in most western countries, yet this is legal:
    you tube bXVFFI76ff0

    The people who cut girls (usually cut women) compare FGC to male circumcision all the time. US doctors who were promoting female circumcision till the 1960s did the same eg
    Circumcision of the Female
    C.F. McDonald, M.D. – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    GP, Vol. XVIII No. 3, p. 98-99, September, 1958
    (“If the male needs circumcision for cleanliness and hygiene, why not the female?”)

    More recently, the AAP’s Bioethics committee changed its policy on female cutting in 2010 saying “It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual [clitoral] nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm.”
    They were forced to retract this about six weeks later:
    Dr Diekema, the chair of the committee said “We’re talking about something far less extensive than the removal of foreskin in a male”.

    And the German Pediatric Association said this in 2012:
    “Therefore it is not understandable that circumcision of boys should be allowed but that of girls prohibited worldwide. Male circumcision is basically comparable with FGM types Ia and Ib that the Schafi Islamic school of law supports”

  • Raging Bee

    What about referencing the gross violation of basic medical ethics that circumcision entails? Is that also “anti-Semitic” or “unscientific?”

    What about men who state that they’d rather not have been circumcised, given a choice? Or men who say they don’t want to lose their foreskins? Are they all being “anti-Semitic” or “unscientific” too?

  • P. McCoy

    To all Males and sundry: This issue is almost as divisive as abortion. But as I don’t have (and wouldn’t want ever!) a PENIS, I as a Woman have no skin in the game EXCEPT- a: I don’t want to have any sexual acts with an unaesthetic, smelly, uncircumcised penis that you fanatics unfairly compare typical removal of foreskin by surgical procedures in Western hospitals to religious zealots with NO medical training or hospital surgical hygiene practices that involved an invasive excision of a complete Clitoris which jeopardizes the functions of the reproductive and urinary systems and makes walking almost impossible . This comparison reeks with the mouthings of MAD MEN, no less, just like that ranting of anti abortionists.

    Therefore, b:all I CAN DO is exclude uncircumcised Males as potential dating partners period.

    c: If I were to have a Son, HE would be circumcised
    in infancy in a Medical Hospital- no religious services needed.

    As for the Anti Semitism, many anti circumcision zealots will show videos of Jewish circumcision rituals and emphasize their disgust at the procedure less, but at the Jews in the ritual ( defaming them as pedophiles) MORE!

    ‘Nuff said!

  • David Cromie

    FGM is evil, and I have not claimed otherwise. But where does antisemitism enter the picture?

    You are the person dealing in unscientific excuses for MGM,

  • Vanity Unfair

    That’s a very interesting argument. Thanks. It is a different way to interpret the problem and it takes a rare legal eagle to work out a new approach. I think it is disgusting that the Lords did not consider, even obiter dicta, that circumcision could be an assault and that is a failing in their judgment in Brown, so we are stuck.

    There are some differences between UK and USA law and medical practice that might make it less useful in the UK. The most obvious one is that the UK has no Constitution protecting its citizens.

    Parents are generally allowed to be the judge of what is the best treatment for their children as long as no obvious harm comes to the children. This presumption can be disallowed by a court but it usually takes an egregious course of action to trigger this procedure. It is also possible that a counter-argument claiming that the parents’ informed consent would over-rule the surgeon’s fiduciary duty to the child could succeed.

    Next is the implication behind Prof. Adler’s article that surgeons would promote circumcision in order to increase their earnings. The vast majority of medical operations in the UK are undertaken by the National Health Service and surgeons are not paid for piece-work. There is no financial incentive to perform unnecessary operations. Private medical practice is similar to the USA so it might apply in those cases.

    Prof. Adler does not consider circumcisions performed by non-medically-trained operators (the very thought makes me shudder) but these would be cases where the cutter was brought in specifically to carry out the operation so it could- and would- be argued that the duty of trust did not specifically apply as the sole reason for the existence of the cutter was to carry out that single purpose and if it were not expressly outlawed then no offence would have been committed.

    As far as I know there are no cases of children suing parents and/or surgeons/health services for assault, battery, negligence or psychological trauma after circumcision. The time limit would probably be up to the age of 24 years- majority plus six years.

    There is an old legal adage that comes to mind; nobody ever made money betting on judges.

  • Raging Bee

    Your particular tastes do not override anyone’s right to bodily autonomy, nor do they justify your hypocritical support of the mutilation of boys but not girls. You can bang on all you want about how radically different FGM and circumcision are (and yes, we all agree they’re very different); but both are still obviously violations of the same basic principles of medical ethics and bodily autonomy. And there’s no sufficient medical reason for either such violation, and sure as hell no esthetic reason either. Your concerns are noted and dismissed.

  • Raging Bee

    I’d hate to think what sort of response these circumfetishists would recommend if it did.

  • KenderJ

    So, you would be fine with a smelly penis as long as it was circumcised?

  • KenderJ

    A case could be made for preventive-medical justifications for removing the appendix and tonsils at birth. Instead of performing, a possibly unnecessary, surgery on a newborn, we wait until an actual problem arises.

  • Raging Bee

    Agreed. The more I hear debates about it, the more I realize the preventive-medicine justifications are dicey, at best, and still blatantly contrary to basic human rights and medical ethics. And on top of all that — as so many of the comments upthread here show — the defenders of circumcision seem to be uniformly dishonest and devoid of any sense of ethics or respect for human needs and welfare.

  • P. McCoy

    Simply put, NO! But I still believe that horny males almost out of control with sexual urges even if one is married to one of them are going to express EXTREME hostility up to rage IF his spouse asks him to wash his penis.

    The time to vet these issues is during the point in dating before any sexual contact ( even masturbation) begins. For me, if you’re uncircumcised, no sex – if circumcised and you have unhygenic tendencies no sex , NO more dates either.

    As for infant circumcision, infants do not have the right of bodily autonomy; parents make those decisions for them, therefore MY SON would learn as he learns about his OWN body that he was circumcised as well as vaccinated. I live in a 1st world country where the procedure is secular and done by surgery in a hospital with standard hygienic and surgical practices as per the law.

    If he asked why his SISTER wasn’t circumcised, he would learn about how invasive and damaging to major functions of the reproductive and urinary systems it would be as well as causing normal walking to be extremely painful if not impossible . Those conditions do NOT after hospital based Male circumcision . Said and DONE!

  • David Cromie

    True, the UK Constitution is not contained in a single document, but it nevertheless consists in Magna Carta, and all Statutes enacted since, that deal with the rights of the citizen vis-a-vis the state’s, or any other body’s, putative overwhelming powers of coercion not deemed to be in the best interests of the individual, as decided by the courts, notably the Supreme Court, or its predecessor, the House of Lords.

  • Raging Bee

    But I still believe that horny males almost out of control with sexual urges even if one is married to one of them are going to express EXTREME hostility up to rage IF his spouse asks him to wash his penis.

    No wonder you’re okay with mutilating boys — you clearly don’t think men are even human to begin with. I sincerely hope you never become a parent, because any boys you try to raise will happily live down to your expectations — and you’ll have only yourself to blame when some poor girl feels the consequences of your stupid prejudice.

    And no, you are NOT AT ALL COMPETENT to give medical advice to anyone else, any more than a Jew needs advice from a nazi.

  • srh1965

    my excellent article

    Whoops; bragging does not impress many people.

  • Vanity Unfair

    Thank you. And that is the difference between a Constitution and protection by statute.

    Parliament, in the UK, cannot bind its successors; that is a convention under UK law. A parliament can pass any law that overturns any or all of the provisions of a preceding Act and can change the English Common Law by incorporating its provisions into a Statute. All that is needed is a majority of one MP in each house on that particular day. (Lords count as MPs.)

    Most of the provisions of the Magna Carta have been repealed by later Acts. It is true that the most important conditions remain but they are not inviolable. During recent years we have seen the revival of general search and seizure warrants, the threat of imprisonment for suspicion of offences and the abandonment of the double jeopardy rule. A case can be made for these changes but convenience plays a large part in each. There is nothing intrinsic to protect other liberties. King John did, in fact, repudiate the whole of the Magna Carta only months after affixing the royal seal. And he was right to do so.*

    A Constitution is usually protected by rules for its continuance. It can usually only be amended by a given majority of elected representatives and often a referendum that again has a given majority of electors taking part. Majorities required are usually over 60% but often much higher. A selection is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment but this is as simplified as my account. This is usually referred to a a supermajority. The UK referendum rules fail on both these counts.

    The courts have, recently, been seen as leading bodies in the furtherance of civil rights but this has not always been the case. They are, after all, constrained by the law and cannot make, only interpret, it. It is true that sometimes the interpretation is such that previous practice is overturned but Parliament always has the option to make a new law reversing that and reinstating the old interpretation. The ECtHR rulings that have changed UK law have to be enacted by Parliament. EU rules are subject to interpretation in each member state and, anyway, what happens after March is anybody’s guess.

    “UK law” is different depending on to which part of the UK it applies. Scottish juries are different from English juries and in Northern Ireland religion still plays a major part in deciding personal rights. These are only examples; do not assume that you can safely act in the same fashion throughout the “United” Kingdom.Remember that for most of UK history the law was for the benefit of the rich and landed. The poor and landless had to shift for themselves. That we have a usable system now is an historical aberration; we must protect it.

    * His acquiescence was obtained under duress. The document therefore had no legal value.

  • David Cromie

    By the same token, a case could be made for the amputation of a child’s toes to prevent athletes foot, for example, later in life. Where would it end?

  • Vanity Unfair

    Disqus thinks my reply was spam and blocked it. Everybody is a critic these days, even computers, it seems. So I shall try again. Fortunately I had a copy.
    The idea of a British Constitution is something about which I have strong feelings so I do understand your argument.

    Thank you. And that is the difference between a Constitution and protection by statute.

    Parliament, in the UK, cannot bind its successors; that is a convention under UK law. A parliament can pass any law that overturns any or all of the provisions of a preceding Act and can change the English Common Law by incorporating its provisions into a Statute. All that is needed is a majority of one MP in each house on that particular day. (Lords count as MPs.)

    Most of the provisions of the Magna Carta have been repealed by later Acts. It is true that the most important conditions remain but they are not inviolable. During recent years we have seen the revival of general search and seizure warrants, the threat of imprisonment for suspicion of offences and the abandonment of the double jeopardy rule. A case can be made for these changes but convenience plays a large part in each. There is nothing intrinsic to protect other liberties. King John did, in fact, repudiate the whole of the Magna Carta only months after affixing the royal seal. And he was right to do so.*

    A Constitution is usually protected by rules for its continuance. It can usually only be amended by a given majority of elected representatives and often a referendum that again has a given majority of electors taking part. Majorities required are usually
    over 60% but often much higher. A selection is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_amendment but this is as simplified as my account. This is usually referred to a a supermajority. The UK referendum rules fail on both these counts.

    The courts have, recently, been seen as leading bodies in the furtherance of civil rights but this has not always been the case.
    They are, after all, constrained by the law and cannot make, only interpret, it. It is true that sometimes the interpretation is such
    that previous practice is overturned but Parliament always has the option to make a new law reversing that and reinstating the old interpretation. The ECtHR rulings that have changed UK law have to be enacted by Parliament. EU rules are subject to interpretation in each member state and, anyway, what happens after March is anybody’s guess.

    “UK law” is different depending on to which part of the UK it applies. Scottish juries are different from English juries and
    in Northern Ireland religion still plays a major part in deciding personal rights. These are only examples; do not assume that you can safely act in the same fashion throughout the “United” Kingdom.Remember that for most of UK history the law was for the benefit of the rich and landed. The poor and landless had to shift for themselves. That we have a usable system now is an historical aberration; we must protect it.

    * His acquiescence was obtained under duress. The document therefore had no legal value.

  • David Cromie

    To Vanity Unfair. I had notice of your reply to my post, but have not been able to find it on this site, for some reason.

    You are correct. The law in the UK varies from the Law of England and Wales in both Scotland and N. Ireland, for various historical reasons. I should really have been more precise in my post.

    I should also point out that it is about 60 years ago that I had anything to do with the Constitution as a subject of study, and have not really been following the finer details of how it has been amended, if it has been amended, since then (Same Sex Marriage might be considered one such change, I suppose).

    I think it was under Gordon Brown that a written Constitution was promised by the then government (not a bad idea, to my mind). We are still waiting.

  • Jhon Murdock

    Some efficiency?
    “A reexamination of HIV seroconversion studies suggests that condoms are 90 to 95% effective when used consistently, i.e. consistent condom users are 10 to 20 times less likely to become infected when exposed to the virus than are inconsistent or non-users. Similar results are obtained utilizing model-based estimation techniques, which indicate that condoms decrease the per-contact probability of male-to-female transmission of HIV by about 95%.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9141163

  • Vanity Unfair

    I have tried to submit an answer but Disqus thinks my attempts are spam. Everybody is a critic these days.