Infant Circumcision

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Malice
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:45 am UTC

TLCTugger wrote:
Malice wrote:circumcision does not cause significant or lasting harm because:
-The operation has a reasonably low level of risk to the infant, and recovery is not overly onerous;
-Social effects are not a factor (unlike say FGM)
-Sensitivity has not been proven to be significantly reduced, and men who have the procedure as infants go on to have healthy, productive sex lives
-Any emotional trauma is undocumented/unproven

Basically the harm argument is much less convincing than the rights argument.


This is going to look familiar because I posted much of it before. But I think nobody saw it because it was in a new-guy moderation queue until the thread had moved a couple pages beyond.
- - - - -
Hundreds of thousands of men are enduring a tedious multi-year process of non-surgical foreskin restoration to undo just some of the sexual damage of circumcision.


Do you have a cite for this?

The reason to advocate against forced genital cutting is NOT because it is barbaric. Many things we need to do for kids could be described as barbarically painful; they need to get over it if we deem it necessary (like cleaning broken glass out of a wound or drilling holes in their teeth for example). The reason to oppose forced genital cutting is the permanent harm it causes.

The foreskin includes thousands of specialized pleasure-receptive nerve endings and about 15 square inches (in the adult) of sexual interface. Removing that healthy normal body part dramatically alters sexual sensation. You simply can't take away a large sensitive surface (even if done magically with no risk or scar) without changing sensation. The penis owner has natural human right to keep his whole body and make decisions about which parts to keep. Denying this right is a HARM to him.


The penis owner physically can't make the decision re: circumcision as an infant, full stop. An infant can't talk and can barely think, let alone weigh complex variables and extrapolate into the future. You, the parent, are the only one in the room who can decide whether that infant will go from age zero to age 18 with a cut or uncut penis. The alternative being that the government decides, which seems to me to be somewhat intrusive (and I'm a Democrat, so there you go).

As for changing sensation, am I the only one who assumes nerve endings work like Daredevil's senses? (Okay, it sounds dumb when I put it like that. But!) Isn't it accepted medical theory that nerves, senses, and even bits of your brain will compensate for damage? That process might be slow when you're an adult, but an infant will adapt tremendously to its environment and physical circumstances. This is why men missing those "15 square inches" still experience full, productive sex lives and sex drives.

The rest of that presumably copy-pasted "rah-rah, foreskins-boom-bah" is rife with emotional arguments and (you'll pardon my french) merde du vache--what little of it isn't talking about adult circumcision, which is irrelevant to this discussion. (I'm most amused at how the passage argues simultaneously that uncut men have vastly greater sensation and last longer before orgasm, as if those things weren't mutually goddamn exclusive.)

Assuming there were no accidents and unintended consequences (only the predictable losses I describe above), exactly how many men would have to regret having been cut at birth for it to warrant not closing that door for all men, but instead leaving the option so he can get cut (or stay intact) later at a rational informed age?


600,002. Or you could cite how many there actually are and we could talk about whether that is too many.

Exactly how many healthy normal babies would have to die each year to cause the government to ban something? Three deaths per year was enough to cause banning of drop-side cribs. I can produce media accounts of four infant circumcision deaths from this year, and I assert that studies showing deaths of 100-200 per year are more likely reflecting the true number.


Would you like to produce evidence or just wave it around hypothetically?

Most of the world is not cutting infant genitals or conducting studies to justify it. The fact the you think studies are mixed reflects the efforts of circumcisors to justify the practice. Non-circumcisors have no profit or cultural motive to do anything. It is in my mind inappropriate to give all studies equal weight.


So one side of the argument is inherently biased, therefore all of their evidence is worthless? Wow. That is some Olympic-level handwaving.

I am very curious what you mean by "Social effects are not a factor (unlike say FGM)."


Female genital mutilation, in most of its forms, contributes to (or is a symptom of) the oppression of women. Circumcision does not have that issue.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Soralin » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:21 am UTC

I find it unusual that everyone keeps talking about side effects and sensitivity, and sex, as if that's the point of a foreskin. Personally, the primary benefit of a foreskin is that it prevents my sensitive parts from rubbing up against my clothing or having issues with dry skin. It provides that benefit practically every moment of every day. So why all the talk about possible side-effects, when people keep ignoring the certainty of the simple mundane utility of the thing itself?

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:50 am UTC

Cathy wrote:They anesthetize them.


No, no they do not. While a majority of doctors do (that is, doctors performing secular circumcisions; religious circumcisions involve anaesthetic far less often), the actual numbers are a far cry from the near-universality that would be reasonable. I wrote about this all the way back on page 1, and the point has been brought up numerous times since then.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:11 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:I find it unusual that everyone keeps talking about side effects and sensitivity, and sex, as if that's the point of a foreskin. Personally, the primary benefit of a foreskin is that it prevents my sensitive parts from rubbing up against my clothing or having issues with dry skin. It provides that benefit practically every moment of every day. So why all the talk about possible side-effects, when people keep ignoring the certainty of the simple mundane utility of the thing itself?

Probably because the circumcised guys in the world would read that, look down, look back up and you're on a horse.

That is to say: I don't believe that those are significantly real problems that can be attributed in that manner.

Tomo wrote:
lutzj wrote:I will concede that you disagree with the example of ear-piercing, which you found equivalent to sodomy.

Correct. I also morally disagree with forcing veganism, vegitarianism, or any other dietary requirement on a child. But as they suffer no longterm permanent effects, I do not consider them as equal to rape, piercing or circumcision.

Oh good, you've realized that your absolute statement needed shades of gray. That's great that you've finally realized that reality is nuanced.

But now you've claimed that ear piercing is permanent. You've also staked a moral claim against any dietary requirement, which is astoundingly foolish -- not eating cookies for dinner is a dietary requirement, by the way. The type of dietary requirement that if parent's don't take, can lead to lasting physical and social detriments.

Time to slow down and think some more?

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

Torchship wrote:No, no they do not. While a majority of doctors do (that is, doctors performing secular circumcisions; religious circumcisions involve anaesthetic far less often), the actual numbers are a far cry from the near-universality that would be reasonable. I wrote about this all the way back on page 1, and the point has been brought up numerous times since then.

And I don't think anyone in the thread has suggested that not using anesthesia is a reasonable way to circumcise children. But the wiki states:
Spoiler:
Stang, 1998, found 45% of physicians responding to a survey who circumcise used anaesthesia – most commonly a dorsal penile nerve block – for infant circumcisions. The obstetricians in the sample used anaesthesia less often (25%) than the family practitioners (56%) or pediatricians (71%).[79] Howard et al. (1998) surveyed US medical doctor residency programs and directors, and found that 26% of the programs that taught the circumcision procedure "failed to provide instruction in anesthesia/analgesia for the procedure" and recommended that "residency training in neonatal circumcision should include instruction in pain relief techniques".[80] A 2006 follow-up study revealed that the percentage of programs that taught circumcision and also taught administration of topical or local anesthetic had increased to 97%.[81] However, the authors of the follow-up study also noted that only 84% of these programs used anesthetic "frequently or always" when the procedure was conducted.[81]

Glass, 1999, stated that Jewish ritual circumcision is so quick that "most mohelim do not routinely use any anaesthesia as they feel there is probably no need in the neonate." Glass continued, "However, there is no Talmudic objection and should the parents wish for local anaesthetic cream to be applied there is no reason why this cannot be done." Glass also stated that for older children and adults, a penile block is used.[82] In 2001 the Swedish government passed a law requiring all boys undergoing a bris to be given anaesthetic administered by a medical professional.[83]

Which leads me to believe it's a mixed bag, and anesthesia use is on the rise. So, your absolute that 'no, they do not' doesn't seem like a very reasonable absolute, or well backed up position. Those numbers are pretty high.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

Oh come now, I clarified that I was referring to universal or near-universal anaesthetic use immediately after that statement. I feel that 84% anaesthetic use is an unacceptably low number.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

I'm not sure it is, given the lack of long term effects of non-anesthesia use, but even so, 84% anesthesia use to me is pretty good. Do I wish it was 100%? Yes. The issue is your statement is misleading. That's part of the problem with this thread; Cathy says 'they anesthetize them' and you write 'No, no they don't. Well, the majority do'. People are incredibly imprecise with their language in an effort to evoke emotional responses on the topic. You feel 84% is too low? Say that instead, and explain why.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Cathy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:00 pm UTC

I agree that it should be universal to anesthetize infants before circumcision.

From what I've read, the most noticeable benefit of circumcision is that a child is less likely to get infections due to forgetting to clean under the foreskin.

I was raised in a family where circumcision was normal, so it seems pretty reasonable to me, but I can understand the gut reaction of "But why in the hell would you do that!?" I don't have a good example of a similar cultural thing that would result in that kind of reaction, but I know that the first time I saw a one-year-old with ear piercings I had a similar one.

Tomo, I understand your want for children to have more choices of their own -- I wish I'd had a few -- but I also know that I would not have been able to make reasonable choices for myself as an infant. Perhaps before the age of 18, but more in the range of 14 years old -- not 14 days old. There's just a huge gap in what you can expect a child to understand in terms of long term consequences. I couldn't see past the fact that a shot hurt, where my parents understood that it would give me at least 10 years of protection from potentially deadly diseases. The issues are grey -- you need to get past the black/white of it.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby setzer777 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

I propose the following:

For every permanent physical modification (that isn't specifically medically recommended) parents make to a child, that child should be entitled (once they are grown up) to charge their parents for the reversal process or (in cases where complete reversal isn't practical) any physical modification of their choice that costs the same or less than the best available reversal or the original procedure (whichever is higher).

This is a way to acknowledge that parents do have to make some choices for their children, while still holding them financially accountable if the grown up child feels that those choices harmed them.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

It's sort of a neat idea, but how do you put a price on these trade offs? If I vaccinate my child, I potentially save them, what, 10 years of illness? If I correct a cleft palate, pay for orthodontia, or remove poly/syndactyly or birthmarks, I potentially save them a lifetime of therapy or social struggle or missed opportunities.

Ultimately, it's a fun thought experiment, but doesn't seem very legitimate. I think it more than anything, underlines the fact that every decision you make with your children has a social and financial cost to them down the road. Since life's calculus isn't really black and white, the best you can hope for is that you end up more or less in the black by the time they're adults.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby setzer777 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:55 pm UTC

Well, that's why I included "medically recommended". If the procedure is recommended by an officially recognized medical organization (I'll admit that specific standards here may take a lot of work to draft), it should be exempt from the rule.

Also, keep in mind that this only comes into effect if the child specifically pursues it when they grow up (and there should be a statute of limitations I think). They get to judge for themselves (once they are old enough to do so) whether the procedures performed on them caused more harm than good.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

Okay, so strike vaccinations from the list. The other cosmetic procedures still stand. The problem here is that it's difficult to assess what someone would or wouldn't like. They may hate their circumcised penis, but love their straight teeth, for example. Or even be ambivalent. It's difficult to gauge these things, and how people will react. So, given that 'men who seek foreskin regeneration surgery' is vanishingly small of 'men who were circumcised at birth' (I'm actually curious to know how it compares to men who seek circumcisions as adults), I wager the population cost here will still be very small.

Out of curiosity, say a child is NOT circumcised as an infant, and wants the procedure done as an adult, should this count as a strike against the parents for neglecting to perform the procedure when the individual could have skipped the whole painful recovery process?
My guess is, your thought experiment would force us to put a price tag on individuals who were unhappy with their circumcision, and ultimately tell us that most people are ambivalent at worst about the procedure being performed on them.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby setzer777 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

I'm not sure what you take my argument as. If the population cost is really small, that's a *good* thing. I'm not proposing this as an experiment to prove that circumcision is terrible.

In general people should have a say over what happens to their own bodies. When they are children this is not always possible. Giving adults some limited say on what happened to them when they were children (in the form of grievance and renumeration) seems like good thing in and of itself. Their individual judgment on the matter seems the most relevant.

I don't think that they should be entitled to renumeration on the basis of parents *not* performing any non-mandatory procedures. It gets a lot trickier if you start penalizing parents for *not* spending a certain amount of their potentially limited resources.

Edit: This policy would make the financial risk proportionate to the potential regret. If 99.9% of circumcised men do not regret it, then parents can be 99.9% confident that they will not have to pay for reversal.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

Yeah, my mistake for assuming that you were making a statement about it one way or the other actually.

I still think it's difficult to assess the value of these procedures. For me, having straight teeth is enormously valuable, because I'd consider my adolescent crooked teeth to be the physical feature I was most uncomfortable with. For a friend who had a cleft palate corrected when she was a few months old, I'm fairly confident given conversation with her, that she is quite glad she had the procedure done on her.

For the thing to work though, you'd have to have a means to factor both things children are glad they had done, as well as things they wish had been done to them, for fairness purposes. A child cannot legitimately claim they were angry that they were circumcised, but ok with their birthmark removal, and angry that they didn't have their syndactyly corrected. You've got to factor all these things.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby morriswalters » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

How could a circumcised male know what he is missing? What's the basis in fact? I have no memory of the event, and no idea of what it would be like to have a foreskin. My equipment seems to work the same as everyone's. Foreskin jealousy? Regret? For what?

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:44 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure it is, given the lack of long term effects of non-anesthesia use...


That is... not a very good argument (assuming you're speaking of pain here, of course). Almost no-one will remember any non-extreme pain a few months or years after the event, but that certainly does not excuse the original pain. After all, if it's okay to circumcise a child without anaesthetic because they won't remember it in a year's time, why isn't it okay for me to punch you? In a year or so you likely won't remember any of the pain of being punched (though you will probably still remember the event itself, but that's a different issue*), making it completely okay by the preceding logic.

To be clear, I am speaking exclusively of the pain issue here; I do not want to get into the rights argument, or any of the other arguments going around. For example, I acknowledge that I do not have the right to punch you, whereas you could make an argument that you do have the right to circumcise a child (I disagree, but whatever). These arguments, however, are not particularly relevant to the issue of pain.

*If you don't like punching, you could substitute stealthily causing you to stub your toe, or something similar. You will not remember either the stubbing (since stubbing is not an event that most people would remember, whereas being punched is) or the pain associated with the stubbing in a year's time.


morriswalters wrote:How could a circumcised male know what he is missing? What's the basis in fact? I have no memory of the event, and no idea of what it would be like to have a foreskin. My equipment seems to work the same as everyone's. Foreskin jealousy? Regret? For what?


It is not necessary for a person to know what they are missing in order for it to be wrong to take it from them. After all, victims of certain types of female genital mutilation do not know what it is like to possess a clitoris; is it therefore okay to have removed theirs? A person who's had their arms removed at birth would not know what it is to possess arms (presumably we could also keep them away from people who possess arms, to avoid them learning the advantages that arms bring); is it okay to remove people's arms?
This is all assuming that foreskin removal provides an objective loss of sensation and function, of course. The data appears to be inconclusive, so I'm not sure how well founded this assumption is, but morriswalters appears to be making it.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:57 am UTC

It would be nice if someone could show that it is anything other than a piece of skin. I don't care one way or the other, mind you, it just seems a little pointless otherwise. Compensation seems silly. How do you value it? As an example of ideal behavior for humans I suppose there is some type of sense to this discussion but in a practical sense the only way that someone who is circumcised will be able to identify any loss is to be able to know what he is missing. And you can't know. The pain is negligible, and it's beyond remembering. If the cultural tides turn and make it unacceptable than, well, okay. I raise the bar pretty high when it comes to getting in between a parent and child. To me that means demonstrable, long lasting harm. I also wish someone would define extreme pain, it's a term that gets tossed around which has no certain meaning in this context.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:13 am UTC

Torchship wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure it is, given the lack of long term effects of non-anesthesia use...


That is... not a very good argument (assuming you're speaking of pain here, of course). Almost no-one will remember any non-extreme pain a few months or years after the event, but that certainly does not excuse the original pain. After all, if it's okay to circumcise a child without anaesthetic because they won't remember it in a year's time, why isn't it okay for me to punch you? In a year or so you likely won't remember any of the pain of being punched (though you will probably still remember the event itself, but that's a different issue*), making it completely okay by the preceding logic.

To be clear, I am speaking exclusively of the pain issue here; I do not want to get into the rights argument, or any of the other arguments going around. For example, I acknowledge that I do not have the right to punch you, whereas you could make an argument that you do have the right to circumcise a child (I disagree, but whatever). These arguments, however, are not particularly relevant to the issue of pain.


What is the point, though? Are you arguing that we shouldn't do anything to infants that will cause them pain, like vaccinations? If you were actually stubbing my toe for my benefit, I suppose I wouldn't mind the pain there either.

morriswalters wrote:How could a circumcised male know what he is missing? What's the basis in fact? I have no memory of the event, and no idea of what it would be like to have a foreskin. My equipment seems to work the same as everyone's. Foreskin jealousy? Regret? For what?


It is not necessary for a person to know what they are missing in order for it to be wrong to take it from them. After all, victims of certain types of female genital mutilation do not know what it is like to possess a clitoris; is it therefore okay to have removed theirs? A person who's had their arms removed at birth would not know what it is to possess arms (presumably we could also keep them away from people who possess arms, to avoid them learning the advantages that arms bring); is it okay to remove people's arms?
This is all assuming that foreskin removal provides an objective loss of sensation and function, of course. The data appears to be inconclusive, so I'm not sure how well founded this assumption is, but morriswalters appears to be making it.


I think the issue is that, although something is physically missing, there's nothing missing subjectively. A person who is missing arms is also missing the chance to play baseball*, while the person missing a foreskin is not missing out on the chance to have or enjoy sex. Even if there is an objective loss of sensation, there is no subjective loss of sensation; nor is there a loss of function in either respect. So it's not really comparable to FGM or armectomies or whatnot. It's more like cutting off an earlobe: yes, other people have a bit of flesh that you don't, but you can still hear just fine.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby TLCTugger » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:28 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:autoplagiarism is a bit of a faux pas


I'm sorry the truth doesn't change. I'm not copy/pasting except where noted. I'm typing; sometimes by voice-to-text and I do have a few phrases programmed to auto-complete.

Copper Bezel wrote:I reacted the same way Izawwlgood did to the fifteen-square-inches bit


Here's how to measure 15 square inches (but would it matter if it was 8, or 5?): Measure the girth of the erect penis. Say it's 5 inches. Measure the length of the glans. Say it's an inch and a half. The foreskin of an intact man can be easily manipulated over the whole glans during arousal. The skin on a circumcised penis is typically taut on the erect shaft. So see how conservatively the foreskin would normally extend from a point at the sulcus just behind the corona of the glans out to the tip, AND BACK. So that's (1.5 inches PLUS 1.5 inches) TIMES (5 inches). That is, the surface area lost is the girth times the length. Do you see? Quibble with the numbers but they're not at all unusual or superhuman. In the typical intact man that same skin will retract off the glans to enrobe most of the shaft upon an inward thrusting motion. Sex is seemingly designed to be primarily the contact of a man's mocosal surface with a woman's mucosal surface. You can certainly observe evidence of this if you have mammals as pets and note their slick shiny boners.

Copper Bezel wrote:the "17-point" study that you note has never been repeated with a different result. . . . But you don't say that it wasn't repeated, which would make it less convincing


No it makes it more compelling. There are lots of people with profit motive and cultural reasons to justify circumcision. The fact that this study has been out for several years and nobody has tried to debunk it is quite telling. Correct, it has not been reproduced. NO OTHER study I know of has measured the foreskin with precision. People who start out with a motive to justify circumcision typically design a study to measure what's left on the cut guy and compare that to comparable parts on the intact guy. This ignores the fact that sensation - with the full normal amount of and kind of skin nature provides - is not just more, it's different. Specialized light touch sensors called Meisners Corpuscles are concentrated in the commonly amputed skin far more densely than in the surviving skin.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:37 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:It would be nice if someone could show that it is anything other than a piece of skin. I don't care one way or the other, mind you, it just seems a little pointless otherwise. Compensation seems silly. How do you value it? As an example of ideal behavior for humans I suppose there is some type of sense to this discussion but in a practical sense the only way that someone who is circumcised will be able to identify any loss is to be able to know what he is missing. And you can't know. The pain is negligible, and it's beyond remembering. If the cultural tides turn and make it unacceptable than, well, okay. I raise the bar pretty high when it comes to getting in between a parent and child. To me that means demonstrable, long lasting harm. I also wish someone would define extreme pain, it's a term that gets tossed around which has no certain meaning in this context.


I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about here. Lots of things are "just pieces of skin"; the webbing between your fingers, for example. Would you consider it perfectly acceptable if I cut all the webbing out of your fingers without anaesthetic? Hell no, that would be widely considered a form of torture and dismissing it as the removal of "just pieces of skin" is absolutely ludicrous in context.

The fundamental thing is that the pain is not negligible, and just because the pain is not remembered does not mean that the pain is acceptable. The foreskin, even the somewhat-unformed foreskin of an infant is still a significant amount of highly sensitive tissue, and cutting that out without any kind of pain relief is going to be absurdly painful.
Again, I bring up the situation of punching someone in the face; if in a few years they won't remember a thing, what's the harm? I accidentally broke my arm 10 years ago and I do not remember the pain at all (though I do recall the event, but that has little to do with the pain); does this mean it would be acceptable to break my arm once more? After all, a couple of years and I won't recall the pain at all, just as children do not recall having a substantial amount of highly-sensitive skin cut off.

I agree that parental discretion is an important (pseudo-) right, but I find it bizarre in the extreme that you believe that this should extend to allowing a parent to deny anaesthetic for a painful procedure when not done for the good of the child. There are almost no situations (aside from allergic reactions with the anaesthetic and the like) where denying access to anaesthetic for a painful procedure is acceptable action. Again, this would be considered almost torture if performed in any other situation; would it be acceptable to not give anaesthetic to an adult getting some minor but painful procedure done (circumcision, teeth removal, etc.)?

In this context, I am defining "extreme pain" as (somewhat tautologically) pain that is severe enough to remember a significant period (possibly a lifetime) afterwards. Being tortured, for example, would likely be traumatic and painful enough that memory of the pain would last for many decades and thus would be extreme. My aforementioned broken arm, however, was quickly forgotten and hence doesn't qualify.

Malice wrote:What is the point, though? Are you arguing that we shouldn't do anything to infants that will cause them pain, like vaccinations? If you were actually stubbing my toe for my benefit, I suppose I wouldn't mind the pain there either.


My apologies for a lack of clarity; I was referring only to situations where there was pain for no appreciable benefit over the alternatives. Vaccinations wouldn't qualify, as their is clear benefit to them. Circumcision without anaesthetic would, however, as the procedure can be performed with anaesthetic easily (at least in the Western world) for the same benefit* and none of the excruciating pain.

*Assuming that circumcision has some kind of objective benefit, of course.

Malice wrote:I think the issue is that, although something is physically missing, there's nothing missing subjectively. A person who is missing arms is also missing the chance to play baseball*, while the person missing a foreskin is not missing out on the chance to have or enjoy sex. Even if there is an objective loss of sensation, there is no subjective loss of sensation; nor is there a loss of function in either respect. So it's not really comparable to FGM or armectomies or whatnot. It's more like cutting off an earlobe: yes, other people have a bit of flesh that you don't, but you can still hear just fine.

*(Outside of my spec script, "Torso Makes the Big Leagues".)


If our hypothetical armless person was kept secluded from people with arms, they would also never notice any subjective loss of sensation or performance, even though the objective loss of function and sensation is huge. It is perfectly analogous.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:08 am UTC

Torchship wrote:
Malice wrote:What is the point, though? Are you arguing that we shouldn't do anything to infants that will cause them pain, like vaccinations? If you were actually stubbing my toe for my benefit, I suppose I wouldn't mind the pain there either.


My apologies for a lack of clarity; I was referring only to situations where there was pain for no appreciable benefit over the alternatives. Vaccinations wouldn't qualify, as their is clear benefit to them. Circumcision without anaesthetic would, however, as the procedure can be performed with anaesthetic easily (at least in the Western world) for the same benefit* and none of the excruciating pain.

*Assuming that circumcision has some kind of objective benefit, of course.


I don't know enough about infant anaesthesia to know whether it would be a problem to use it in 100% of cases; but assuming there are no medical issues, I'm in favor of painless circumcision. I'm not sure there's anybody in this thread arguing specifically for painful circumcision.

Malice wrote:I think the issue is that, although something is physically missing, there's nothing missing subjectively. A person who is missing arms is also missing the chance to play baseball*, while the person missing a foreskin is not missing out on the chance to have or enjoy sex. Even if there is an objective loss of sensation, there is no subjective loss of sensation; nor is there a loss of function in either respect. So it's not really comparable to FGM or armectomies or whatnot. It's more like cutting off an earlobe: yes, other people have a bit of flesh that you don't, but you can still hear just fine.

*(Outside of my spec script, "Torso Makes the Big Leagues".)


If our hypothetical armless person was kept secluded from people with arms, they would also never notice any subjective loss of sensation or performance, even though the objective loss of function and sensation is huge. It is perfectly analogous.


I think the problem is that you're conflating function and sensation. "Sensation" only matters subjectively, because that's literally what it is--you only feel what you feel and there is no direct and quantifiable point of comparison between what you feel and what I feel. Function can be seen in different ways subjectively (if I've never seen a baseball, or another person with arms) but it also has an objective component (baseballs exist whether I've seen them or not).

In other words, the analogy fails, because circumcised men are not kept ignorant of uncircumcised men; they are merely kept ignorant of the subjective sensation of being uncircumcised. Since there is no difference in function, the subjective sensation is all we have to go on--and all evidence points to sensation being equivalent to both sets of men.
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Re: Male Infant Circumcision

Postby TLCTugger » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:06 am UTC

Malice wrote:
TLCTugger wrote:Hundreds of thousands of men are enduring a tedious multi-year process of non-surgical foreskin restoration to undo just some of the sexual damage of circumcision.


Do you have a cite for this?


Don't freak, but the cutters have the money to get published with all sorts of studies about circumcising. There is no motive to incent anyone to publish about non-surgical foreskin restoration since it is done without the help of a doctor. But here is a recent cite from a Canadian Medical Journal http://www.cmaj.ca/content/183/18/2092. ... 8f50af0439 although it doesn't give numbers, and one from the Royal Dutch Medical Society: page six of the 2010 KNMG Male Circumcision Policy http://knmg.artsennet.nl/Publicaties/KN ... s-2010.htm although it cites as its source an intactivist web site.

Frankly I am one of the most reliable sources for this number, as I have personally helped over 20,000 English speaking men undertake restoration (and I have the tax returns to prove it). Another piece of evidence is sales of the English language book The Joy of Uncircumcising which has sold over 75,000 print and electronic copies. Couple these facts with a 2010 survey which showed fewer than 1 in 5 restorers use my methods and fewer than 1 in 4 restorers owns that book, and I can make a fairly safe assertion about the number of restorers. As I say, nobody has the resources to produce iron-clad numbers, least of the all the infants who need protection. This is why I mentioned castrati and FGM victims. The loudest proponents of FGM are victims themselves. You won't find anywhere a large-scale survey of cut women showing an overall tendency toward wishing they were intact. You'll find plenty of anecdotes. If they are valuable at all for FGM, then male anecdotes ... ?

Malice wrote:
TLCTugger wrote:The penis owner has natural human right to keep his whole body and make decisions about which parts to keep.

The penis owner physically can't make the decision re: circumcision as an infant,


Ah! WHAT decision? He is healthy and normal, possessed of parts enjoyed by 99.99% of all the humans who ever lived.

What decision is so urgent that it can't wait for his rational informed consent? About half of US babies (and more elsewhere) are being left intact.

Malice wrote:The alternative being that the government decides


Just like the govt decides if he gets to keep his pinky toe or earlobe?

Malice wrote:men missing those "15 square inches" still experience full, productive sex lives and sex drives.


They experience a different symphony of sensation. Perhaps you could think of it as letting the woodwind section stay home. You'd still hear a whole concert, it might even still last just as long, but it's just not as rich. Who has the right to decide for you how rich your experience will be?

Malice wrote:copy-pasted "rah-rah, foreskins-boom-bah" - rife with emotional arguments


No not at all. It's merely (for context) a description of what the foreskin is and what it does. You shouldn't discuss lopping something off without knowing what it is or does. OK, so here's a very non-emotional medical curriculum description of what it is: 20-minute video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_dzeDvx2QA

Malice wrote:talking about adult circumcision


No, I was talking mainly about effects noted BY adults about their childhood circumcisions.

Malice wrote:Would you like to produce evidence {for studies showing deaths of 100-200 per year}

1 death per 10,000 http://www.circinfo.org/USA_deaths.html is a summary, you'd pay to read the online journal.
1 death per 5,600 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... =pmcentrez

These studies take care to investigate where "botched circumcision" is not explicitly listed as cause of death, but where in fact the child would not have died if not circumcised.

Malice wrote:So one side of the argument is inherently biased, therefore all of their evidence is worthless? Wow.


I'm not saying worthless. "Rarely relevant" I'll cop to. But have you noticed other posters here refusing to even look at stuff hosted at intactivist web sites, even if it's just a mirror of an otherwise not-online medical journal entry?

Malice wrote:Female genital mutilation, in most of its forms, contributes to (or is a symptom of) the oppression of women. Circumcision does not have that issue.


We'll have to disagree on that. First, the most common FGM (as in Indonesia and Malaysia) affects the hood only, and second all forced genital cutting seems to have roots in suppressing gender-specific expression. Hebrew sage Maimonedis knew in the 12th century that circumcision was done to dull the male lust. Kellogg popularized circumcision in the US to curb masturbation, which was in the late 1800s thought to cause everything from hip dysplasia to epilepsy.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

TLCTugger, you have openly admitted to participating in anti-circumcision propaganda, you have openly admitted to copy-pasting buzz and catch phrases from other places (some of which are your own uncited anti-circumcision propaganda), you have overtly ignored links provided that counter your claims and statistics, and you have continued linking to biased resources. I for one think your contributions to this discussion are about as useful as the WBC talking about gay rights in America.

I linked a piece posted by two doctors that provides citations for their claims and disputes a whole range of fallacious claims (many of which you still stand by, including the 15-inch thing), that you have not responded to.

RE: Circumcision reduces sex drive/ease of masturbation: As we've already asked you in this thread, provide a citation for this. If you look at the link I provided, which I'm sure you won't, you can see this claim is refuted, with cited studies. Pointing out what a 13th century Jewish scholar said about something does not for a fact make. (Although I find it curious that I cannot find any reference to this statement outside of your website or other anti-circumcision websites)

RE: Female genital mutilation: As we've pointed out, repeatedly in this thread, there are different types of FGM. If you are specifically talking about hood removal, then it's up to you to find some resources for your claims. It is my impression that hood removal has a negative affect on physical/sexual quality of life for women. But, not surprisingly, developmental biology equivalents don't make for a perfect analogy; what affects women may not affect men. So while it's a nice little buzz phrase to link the two, all it shows is that a vagina has similar but not equal tissues to a penis.

RE: Your cited numbers of deaths: I would prefer you stopped linking to anti-circumcision websites to get your stats. Try wikipedia, or the link I provided which will link you to studies that have actual reports of deaths. You'll find they're quite different from your claims.

RE: Your measurement of a foreskin being 15 inches: Wow. Just wow. I'd call that a monumental failure to understand how surface area works. But thank you for admitting you made up the figure yourself, it's impressive to see how far it disseminated through the anti-circumcision circles, and it's nice to know I can ignore it from now on when you and other anti-circumcision advocates start throwing it around as fact.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby morriswalters » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

Genital mutilation, face smacking. Wow, gross overstatements. Great pain? Whatever it's practical benefits are real or not I have still heard nothing to tell me there's a fire that needs to be put out here.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:10 pm UTC

TLCTugger, you're still doing it. And just to be clear, I'm not arguing with you about circumcision here, so please don't try to respond to this post with another barrage of shocking did-you-knows.

TLCTugger wrote:I'm sorry the truth doesn't change. I'm not copy/pasting except where noted. I'm typing; sometimes by voice-to-text and I do have a few phrases programmed to auto-complete.

And pastiche is still pastiche. If you're not even reading what you're posting, then I don't see how anyone else can be expected to. Spamming someone with tract snippets is not the same thing as entering into a conversation with them.

No it makes it more compelling. There are lots of people with profit motive and cultural reasons to justify circumcision. The fact that this study has been out for several years and nobody has tried to debunk it is quite telling.

No, it's not. A "17-point study" is arbitrary. There's no reason to repeat that exact methodology, and a more surprising or compelling result is more likely to be tested. If there was a 15 point study (with different "points") and a 36 point study in the same year, and someone did repeat those methodologies, but not this one, then you could still claim what you did.

Think about the bit in bold, too, and how the meaning of "compelling" changes here. I meant that the results were less compelling without verification in a scientific sense. You're presenting the lack of verification as compelling evidence of a conspiracy. Those are two different things.

NO OTHER study I know of has measured the foreskin with precision.

It would be passing strange for a study on circumcision to do so, would it not, to compare circumcised and uncircumcised men's sensation in the foreskin? Stating the obvious is not the point of the studies. The point of the studies is to determine whether there's a difference in subjective sensation.

Izawwlgood wrote:RE: Your measurement of a foreskin being 15 inches: Wow. Just wow. I'd call that a monumental failure to understand how surface area works.

Eh, it's not that far off. Diameter of an inch and a half is typical, which makes the circumference close to five. The three inches lengthwise is a bit of a stretch, because it's based on the idea that by foreskin we mean "all elasticity in the skin of the shaft." It's failing biology, not geometry. = )

TLCTugger wrote:(but would it matter if it was 8, or 5?)

In what sense do you mean? It was your number. You apparently felt that it mattered at the time. This is exactly what I'm getting at - you don't care about your facts. They are not the reasons you are making this argument.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Azrael » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:26 pm UTC

You should refrain from further responses to TLCTugger.

I do not brook single-topic 'buy my self-help remedy' spammers here.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:19 am UTC

Malice wrote:I don't know enough about infant anaesthesia to know whether it would be a problem to use it in 100% of cases; but assuming there are no medical issues, I'm in favor of painless circumcision. I'm not sure there's anybody in this thread arguing specifically for painful circumcision.


Morriswalters explicitly stated that ze believes that the pain from un-anaesthetised circumcision is negligible, and that ze doesn't believe that it is important anyway because it is not remembered, and I believe Izawwlgood was implying something similar. These are the ideas that I was specifically trying to dispel.

Malice wrote:I think the problem is that you're conflating function and sensation. "Sensation" only matters subjectively, because that's literally what it is--you only feel what you feel and there is no direct and quantifiable point of comparison between what you feel and what I feel. Function can be seen in different ways subjectively (if I've never seen a baseball, or another person with arms) but it also has an objective component (baseballs exist whether I've seen them or not).

In other words, the analogy fails, because circumcised men are not kept ignorant of uncircumcised men; they are merely kept ignorant of the subjective sensation of being uncircumcised. Since there is no difference in function, the subjective sensation is all we have to go on--and all evidence points to sensation being equivalent to both sets of men.


Why do you believe that sensation only matters subjectively? If circumcision leads to decreased sensation, then circumcised people will enjoy sex and masturbation less (on average) than uncircumcised people. If the difference is small they may never realise that they experience penis-related sensations less strongly than other people, but they are still missing out on potential penis-related enjoyment, which is an objective and morally-significant problem.
In the above paragraph, I am conflating sensation and function quite a bit, but this is because these things are irrevocably intertwined when it comes to penises and trying to separate them is folly. In fact, they're intertwined in almost all human organs; the sensitivity of arms (more specifically, hands) is a huge part of their function.

No, circumcised men are not kept ignorant of uncircumcised men, but they are kept ignorant of any benefits to non-circumcision that may exist (or, rather, disadvantages to circumcision), which is a far more significant and important thing. The analogy only involved our armless person being unaware of the existence of armed people because the advantages of arms are clear and it is implausible that our armless person would not realise them immediately; not so with circumcision.

morriswalters wrote:Genital mutilation, face smacking. Wow, gross overstatements. Great pain? Whatever it's practical benefits are real or not I have still heard nothing to tell me there's a fire that needs to be put out here.


Teh keh? Nothing you've written here has addressed anything that I or anyone else has said; you appear to just be waffling in a vague attempt to avoid responsibility for your previous statements. If you wish to end the discussion, then simply say so; don't ramble on meaninglessly and pretend that this has any relevance to the discussion at hand.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby lutzj » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:34 am UTC

Torchship wrote:Why do you believe that sensation only matters subjectively? If circumcision leads to decreased sensation, then circumcised people will enjoy sex and masturbation less (on average) than uncircumcised people. If the difference is small they may never realise that they experience penis-related sensations less strongly than other people, but they are still missing out on potential penis-related enjoyment, which is an objective and morally-significant problem.
In the above paragraph, I am conflating sensation and function quite a bit, but this is because these things are irrevocably intertwined when it comes to penises and trying to separate them is folly. In fact, they're intertwined in almost all human organs; the sensitivity of arms (more specifically, hands) is a huge part of their function.


There might be objectively less sensation, but there is no reason to believe that leads to objectively less enjoyment; the fact that sensation only really matters in a relative sense has been brought up several times. The most important enjoyable aspects of sex are internal and don't have anything to do with sensation anyway.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:45 am UTC

Torchship wrote:No, circumcised men are not kept ignorant of uncircumcised men, but they are kept ignorant of any benefits to non-circumcision that may exist (or, rather, disadvantages to circumcision), which is a far more significant and important thing. The analogy only involved our armless person being unaware of the existence of armed people because the advantages of arms are clear and it is implausible that our armless person would not realise them immediately; not so with circumcision.

This totally misses the point. It's not about whether or not a person knows what he's missing, it's about whether he's missing anything. A circumcised person is perfectly able to do anything an uncircumcised person does with no loss of perceived sensation or pleasure.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:10 am UTC

lutzj wrote:There might be objectively less sensation, but there is no reason to believe that leads to objectively less enjoyment; the fact that sensation only really matters in a relative sense has been brought up several times. The most important enjoyable aspects of sex are internal and don't have anything to do with sensation anyway.


The sensation component of sex is an absolutely huge component of most people's enjoyment of the act (also masturbation), and I find your assertion that sensation is a negligible component absolutely ludicrous. If sensation is not important, what's wrong with clitoral-removal female genital mutilation? All the clitoris does is provide additional sensation, therefore it's perfectly legitimate to remove it, no? (just as with circumcision, assuming circumcision leads to a decrease in sensation, blah blah blah).
Certainly other effects feature very significantly in the enjoyment of sex for very many people, but they absolutely do not overwhelm sensation in any but a tiny minority of cases.

Since sensation is strongly positively linked with enjoyment (up to some maximum) for the vast majority of people, it is perfectly logical to assume that a decrease in sensation will lead to a decrease in enjoyment. How significant this decrease is will depend entirely on the person in question, but it is most certainly present (again, assuming all the previous assumptions).

sourmìlk wrote:This totally misses the point. It's not about whether or not a person knows what he's missing, it's about whether he's missing anything. A circumcised person is perfectly able to do anything an uncircumcised person does with no loss of perceived sensation or pleasure.


If you'd actually read what I'd written, you'd realise that I am explicitly assuming that circumcision leads to decreased sensation, as this is the assumption that morriswalters made back at the beginning of the page.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:41 am UTC

Torchship wrote: If sensation is not important, what's wrong with clitoral-removal female genital mutilation?

Because clitoris != foreskin. And comparing apples to oranges is a stupid way to go about this discussion anyway, as I already mentioned.

Torchship wrote:Since sensation is strongly positively linked with enjoyment (up to some maximum) for the vast majority of people, it is perfectly logical to assume that a decrease in sensation will lead to a decrease in enjoyment.

The assumption being that there is less, or even a change in sensation for circumcised at birth men. The stats seem to indicate that adult circumcision is split on the change in sensation in any case.

Torchship wrote:Morriswalters explicitly stated that ze believes that the pain from un-anaesthetised circumcision is negligible, and that ze doesn't believe that it is important anyway because it is not remembered, and I believe Izawwlgood was implying something similar. These are the ideas that I was specifically trying to dispel.

You misinterpreted then. I was refuting your claim that 'no doctors use anesthesia', and went on to say that ~80% of doctors using anesthesia doesn't seem like a 'start a riot in terror' worthy issue, considering the lack of long term studies of anesthesia-less circumcisions.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:32 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Because clitoris != foreskin. And comparing apples to oranges is a stupid way to go about this discussion anyway, as I already mentioned.


That comparison was quite obviously made solely in response to lutzj's bizarre assertion that sensation is not a major factor in sex. If sensation is not important and the clitoris is an organ who's sole purpose is enhancing sensation, how is the removal of the clitoris any worse than the removal of the foreskin?

Izawwlgood wrote:The assumption being that there is less, or even a change in sensation for circumcised at birth men. The stats seem to indicate that adult circumcision is split on the change in sensation in any case.


Yes. I know. I have explicitly stated that I am making that precise assumption four times now. Can people please stop telling me that I am making it?


Izawwlgood wrote:You misinterpreted then. I was refuting your claim that 'no doctors use anesthesia', and went on to say that ~80% of doctors using anesthesia doesn't seem like a 'start a riot in terror' worthy issue, considering the lack of long term studies of anesthesia-less circumcisions.


We disagree, then. 20% of doctors not using anaesthetic for a very painful procedure for no good reason is a very serious issue in my view for all the undue suffering it causes. If you were not circumcised (I'm pretty sure I've heard you state that you're circumcised) would you consider it acceptable for your adult self to be circumcised (or some equivalent procedure; cutting out the webbing from between your fingers, for example) without access to anaesthetic?
Last edited by Torchship on Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby lutzj » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:11 am UTC

Torchship wrote:That comparison was quite obviously made solely in response to lutzj's bizarre assertion that sensation is not a major factor in sex. If sensation is not important and the clitoris is an organ who's sole purpose is enhancing sensation, how is the removal of the clitoris any worse than the removal of the foreskin?


I'm not saying it isn't a major factor; however, it certainly isn't the only or the most important factor. People have 4 other senses which aren't affected at all by circumcision, orgasm can still be reached just fine, and then there are the emotional and social aspects, which are often improved by circumcision. A minor reduction in sensation, completely imperceptible because it happened shortly after birth, is even less important in this context.

Your FGM comparison is disanalogous because total removal of an organ (the clitoris) is radically different from *maybe* making one (the glans) somewhat less sensitive. (Nerve endings in the foreskin itself are pretty much irrelevant because it gets pulled back during sex anyway.)
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:42 am UTC

lutzj wrote:I'm not saying it isn't a major factor; however, it certainly isn't the only or the most important factor. People have 4 other senses which aren't affected at all by circumcision, orgasm can still be reached just fine, and then there are the emotional and social aspects, which are often improved by circumcision. A minor reduction in sensation, completely imperceptible because it happened shortly after birth, is even less important in this context.


Certainly there are many factors other than sensitivity that affect the satisfaction that one derives from sex or masturbation, but the number of people who will not be affected negatively by a decrease in sensitivity is very small indeed. Do you masturbate/have sex regularly? Do you feel that you could reliably achieve orgasm (or whatever level of sexual satisfaction you deem appropriate) without any physical stimulation from your partner/s or yourself? Almost certainly not; physical stimulation is incredibly important for almost all people, and the penis is probably the most important area for physical stimulation for the majority of penis-possessing people.

Since the pleasure of penis-possessing people is, in general, strongly dependent on manipulation of the penis, it is perfectly logical to assume that a decrease in sensitivity in the penis will lead to a decrease in pleasure. Sexual satisfaction will be reached less often, on average and may be less intense when reached, which is a clear loss as far as our hypothetical average circumcised person's sex life is concerned.

lutzj wrote:Your FGM comparison is disanalogous because total removal of an organ (the clitoris) is radically different from *maybe* making one (the glans) somewhat less sensitive. (Nerve endings in the foreskin itself are pretty much irrelevant because it gets pulled back during sex anyway.)


Change it to a removal of some equivalent amount of clitoral tissue if you wish then; it changes nothing significant about the argument. The point remains that if you are prepared to accept a (possibly entirely hypothetical) sensitivity decrease for circumcision, then you must also be willing to accept a similar sensitivity loss for the equivalent procedure.

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:15 am UTC

Torchship, this has been rehashed various times. Clitoral removal is not the same as foreskin removal. Foreskin removal does not create a perceived loss of sensation (even given that it might create an "objective" loss of sensation), and it does not at all inhibit sexual function or pleasure.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:51 am UTC

Sourmilk, did you really just forget that I am explicitly assuming that circumcision does lead to decreased sensitivity (despite a lack of firm evidence either way) not 5 hours after I told you last time? Despite possessing no factual basis, this assumption is clearly an interesting tangent, as demonstrated by the fact that lutzj and I are having an engaging debate around its implications. Why, then, do you feel the need to bring it up every goddamn post? Are you suffering from massive short-term memory loss? Are you actually some exotic subspecies of computer-using goldfish? There's nothing else I can think of to explain your complete and utter inability to keep such a trivial thought in your head for a half-dozen hours at a stretch.
The next time you feel compelled to inform me of the same damn assumption, please, don't.

On another, slightly less ludicrously stupid note, neither you nor anyone else has provided any justification as to why perceived loss is the only important metric when considering damage. If that were true then lobotomising people without their consent would be perfectly legitimate*, as they cannot perceive their loss afterwards.

Obviously there are issues with friends and family and suchlike, but these are ignorable in the idealised case. If this is not sufficient, then take the example of a friendless person whose family is dead. Is it acceptable to lobotomise them?

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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:17 pm UTC

Don't insult me. I'm well aware of the assumptions you're making with lutzj and I'm operating off those. I've addressed your horrible comparisons for several pages, explaining why they're poor or why they don't matter. I'd appreciate an apology for your rant.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Malice
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Malice » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:01 pm UTC

Torchship wrote:On another, slightly less ludicrously stupid note, neither you nor anyone else has provided any justification as to why perceived loss is the only important metric when considering damage. If that were true then lobotomising people without their consent would be perfectly legitimate*, as they cannot perceive their loss afterwards.


    So You've Just Been Circumcised (18 years ago)!

    Determine whether or not you should be awfully upset with these few easy steps!

    Step 1: Is there any scientific evidence suggesting that you don't have the full range of sexual sensation?

    Y: Get angry!
    N: Try step 2!

    Step 2: Well, do you feel like you don't have the full range of sexual sensation?

    Y: Get angry!
    N: Get over it, ya putz!


--

In other words, in the absence of empirical evidence, perceived loss is the only possible metric. A lobotomy is empirically detrimental, so we never get to question 2 on the universal "is this harmful?" flowchart.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby lutzj » Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

Torchship wrote:Do you feel that you could reliably achieve orgasm (or whatever level of sexual satisfaction you deem appropriate) without any physical stimulation from your partner/s or yourself? Almost certainly not; physical stimulation is incredibly important for almost all people, and the penis is probably the most important area for physical stimulation for the majority of penis-possessing people.


Which is why removing parts of the clitoris or glans could be problematic. My point is that maybe causing an imperceptible (because there is no perceived loss and the total remaining sensation is still significant) reduction in one specific part of one specific aspect of sex probably doesn't harm anyone.
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Re: Infant Circumcision

Postby Torchship » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

Sorry guys, I'm bowing out of this debate. Malice just failed the "Has Read My Posts And Is Aware That I'm Making Assumptions" test and it certainly isn't going to be worth the amount of RAEG that it's going to induce in me to correct zir.


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